Economist David Birch coined the term “gazelles” for new companies whose sales doubled every four years — companies remarkable not for their size, but for their growth trajectory.
Gazelles are rare but mighty. They account for only 4 percent of all new companies but create 70 percent of new jobs.
There's no way to predict with certainty which startups are going to be gazelles any more than we can predict the next NCAA Sweet Sixteen, but experience says that firms with groundbreaking technologies that solve well identified problems for huge markets have a fighting chance.
Associated Material Processing (AMP) of Stillwater fits that description.
AMP provides a unique iron polymer that economically removes arsenic from fluids. AMP CEO Joe Ragosta says that the firm's product is up to 10 times more effective than other available technologies.
Arsenic is a common, naturally occurring material. It is also released into the environment from some industrial and agricultural processes. Arsenic causes illnesses, cancer and death.
Many juices and natural foods like rice have been found to contain elevated arsenic levels. Studies report that globally 137 million people in more than 70 countries have drinking water that exceeds World Health Organization standards for arsenic.
“The world is facing severe shortages of water,” Ragosta said. “In southwest Oklahoma, cities are buying clean water from other cities to blend it in wells with arsenic to meet acceptable standards. What happens when cities don't have water to sell? If AMP can make the water out there more usable, we've done our part.”
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Two-thirds of i2E companies are still in business after four years. The national average for start