Dr. Denise Kay, Co-Founder and CEO of Enspired Solutions, has a passion for reducing the impact of toxic chemicals in the environment to both people and wildlife.
Prior to co-founding her company, she had a successful 23-year career working with people doing impactful science as a toxicologist. Along the way, she began to recognize the lack of representation of female leaders in science, and realized that she had in some ways become complacent with this reality. Determined to be a part of positive change in the industry and driven by her passions, Dr. Kay began working with Dr. Meng Wang to develop groundbreaking chemical solutions that destroy PFAS (Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances), chemicals often found in consumer products. Together, Dr. Kay and Dr. Wang founded Enspired Solutions, a woman-owned and women-led company making a positive impact on both the physical and social environment.
Enspired Solutions is a cleantech startup company, commercializing a chemical technology that destroys toxic PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” in water. Their technology is distinguished in the market by its ability to destroy PFAS and eliminate the potential for re-releasing them into the environment. They also offer a unique chemistry and equipment that is safe to operate and has low energy demands. Enspired Solutions serves industries, municipalities, landfill owners and all levels of government with concerns related to PFAS in wastewater, groundwater or drinking water supplies. Their technology serves the people of Michigan, the United States and the world by removing these toxic chemicals from the environment.
In addition to offering a unique and permanent solution to reducing the presence of toxic chemicals in the global water supply, this team of leaders has a combined experience of over 70 years in research and consulting in toxicology, innovation, engineering, remediation and business administration. Together, they are forging a company that is committed to sustainability, protecting the environment and supporting diverse people in science, technology and engineering careers.
Starting with the Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business, the Enspired Solutions team reached out to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for help kicking off their business. From there, they made connections to multiple advisors and resources associated within the Michigan SmartZone network who helped them with marketing, business planning, tax planning and hiring, among other tasks. Through the Michigan SmartZone Network, they were able to connect with countless advisors and resources for early-stage, technology-based businesses. This group helped with everything, from preparation for funding and finding lab space to recruiting and navigating the patent process.
“It’s no surprise there is a robust ecosystem of entrepreneurs in Michigan,” said Sarah Meyer, Enspired Solutions’ Chief Operating Officer. “Surely, it has not been easy to start our cleantech business from scratch, but with support from MEDC on everything from recruiting to business planning and critical funding, help is there for the asking.”
With the support of Michigan’s entrepreneurial organizations, the Enspired Solutions team was able to understand what it takes to work with the federal government. They received help in developing strategic marketing tools to gain exposure to federal clients, provide them with easy access to information about Enspired Solutions and identify opportunities to work together. The Michigan Venture Capital Association has provided many resources that have helped keep them from reinventing the wheel. They have provided business document templates, advisory materials and information on regional investor groups. Thanks to the MEDC, Enspired Solutions gained a Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) grant that helped their team navigate the technology patent process.
To access resources and connections that will help grow your business through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, visit michiganbusiness.org/services or contact MEDC today for personalized business support.