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Innovation + Job News

Clean tech company EarthClean goes global with new contract

If all goes as planned, firefighters in Japan and South Korea will be racing to fires with innovative technology from Minnesota.
The countries have been talking about distribution arrangements with South Saint Paul-based EarthClean Corporation, developer of TetraKO, a system that transforms water into a liquid that sticks to vertical and ceiling surfaces. Once applied and exposed to heat, TetraKO converts to steam, leading to longer fire suppression and fewer incidents of rekindling.
EarthClean has garnered attention in the past year for its equity financing rounds and awards in the Cleantech Open and the Minnesota Cup competitions. Also, earlier this year, the company benefitted from being part of an international marketing project out of Stanford University.
Those opportunities have allowed the firm to move forward in its global reach, according to company founder and president Doug Ruth. Last month, the company signed a $4.3 million deal with a clean technology and industrial coatings company based in South Korea.
"Right now, it seems that international sales may be bigger for us than domestic," says Ruth. "We're in the process of negotiating with a Japanese distributor and doing testing with the Tokyo Fire Department."
Expansion globally is easier, he adds, because in some countries, government entities make decisions on fire department purchases, unlike in the U.S., where fire departments each make their own purchasing decisions.
Ruth expects to begin testing and negotiations with departments in Australia and New Zealand, as well as countries in Europe. The company has eight full-time and four part-time employees, and could do more hiring if more big deals come along. "We all feel really good about where the company is headed," says Ruth. "We're on track."
Source: Doug Ruth, EarthClean
Writer: Elizabeth Millard
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