University of Illinois Entrepreneur Company Helps Enhance Incubator Safety

Category : EnterpriseWorks
Posted on: June 16, 2020

CHAMPAIGN – A startup founded by two University of Illinois alumni is helping enhance safety at the EnterpriseWorks incubator.

Copper Universal offers a line of protective products that can be easily implemented in buildings, covering high touch surfaces. Copper Universal co-founder Martin Dimitrov installed its antimicrobial copper lining to high touch surfaces at EnterpriseWorks earlier this month, including elevator buttons, door handles and more. 

It’s one of the numerous updates and changes EnterpriseWorks has made to enhance safety for tenants and visitors as more return to the building, after two months of limited access to essential workers.

Copper Universal put together a case study regarding the EnterpriseWorks installation, which can be downloaded here. 

Dimitrov’s first startup, SnapClips, was part of the 2018 iVenture Accelerator cohort at the University of Illinois. The program is an educational accelerator that helps student startups with resources, funding, and mentorship. During his time at the iVenture Accelerator, he experienced some of the resources EnterpriseWorks offers to student startups. Dimitrov found “helpful people that have turned into mentors and clients” and “lots of resources to help advance the company progress”.  “Laura Frerichs and the Research Park network have been monumental in the success SnapClips has had,” Dimitrov said. 

The idea of Copper Universal was created from Dimitrov’s home after witnessing his mother touch a dirty surface before washing her hands. He applied his knowledge of copper from his high school chemistry class to form the company. Copper Universal utilizes the antibacterial properties of copper to high touch surfaces such as handles, light switches, and elevator buttons. Instantly on contact, copper kills 99% of all bacteria and most viruses in a couple of minutes. Copper eliminates all viruses including COVID-19, 18 to 36 times faster than any other material. Once he consulted with his business partner and mentor Rick Mazursky, an Illinois alumnus and serial entrepreneur, Copper Universal became the first company to market this type of product and to patent it.

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