Copyright 2024 SPARK
Sassa Akervall, COO of Akervall Technologies, and Skip Simms, senior vice president of Ann Arbor SPARK

Akervall Technologies recently repaid its Michigan Microloan Fund Program award, making it the first microloan recipient to repay funding.  The company, whose work on the innovative Protech Dent™ mouth guard was also awarded phase I SBIR funding, repaid its $15,000 microloan in just 15 months, nine months before it was due.

“Akervall Technologies is the perfect example of how the microloan funding is suppose to work,” said Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president and administrator of the Michigan Microloan Fund Program.  “Microloan funding helped Akervall jump the chasm between development and commercialization, providing a boost that the company used to market its product and acquire customers.  The Michigan Microloan Fund Program fills a critical funding gap for emerging companies entering the market.”

The Protech Dent is a semi-custom mouth guard made of a non-compressible thermoplastic with precisely positioned perforations that disperse impact forces before they can reach the teeth, using crumple zones to further reduce impact.

“The microloan we received from Ann Arbor SPARK helped us to buy goods for our first inventory of products and to redo our website,” said Sassa Akervall, chief operating officer, Akervall Technologies. “We were also able to bring in consultants to help us with social media marketing and a market analysis, activities that were invaluable in helping us lining up the right avenues for marketing and sales.”

“Akervall Technologies is now in a position of seeing our sales increase by 300 percent this year,” Akervall added.  “We are currently launching a new sales organization for North America and are also seeing an increase in international sales.  All of this activity was initiated with the help of the Michigan Microloan Fund Program award.”

The $15,000 of principal plus interest Akervall Technologies paid will be re-invested in the Michigan Microloan Fund Program.