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University of Maryland Start-Up Company Grip Boost Inc. Goes Global

November 13, 2017
Contacts: 

Alana Coyle, 301-405-0235

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - University of Maryland start-up company Grip Boost Inc., which developed its grip enhancing gel technology at the university, will now be distributing Grip Boost Batting Gel worldwide. The company has announced that Lizard Skins, a global manufacturer and distributor of sports accessories, has become the product’s exclusive worldwide distributor.

A product of the UMD entrepreneurship ecosystem, Grip Boost’s patent-pending technology was originally invented by the Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group in UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering.

Former Maryland Football tight end Matt Furstenburg teamed up with engineering graduate students Chanda Arya and Kevin Diehn to spearhead the creation of Grip Boost. With the help of UMD’s Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute and Office of Technology Commercialization, the team filed for a patent on the technology and began customer research into its target market segments. After receiving strong customer feedback, the Grip Boost team set out to develop the technology into a commercial product through seed funding and mentorship from the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“To see the technology move from idea to prototype to a top-rated product across multiple sports has been remarkable,” says Harry Geller ’81, successful entrepreneur and business mentor to Grip Boost Inc. “Grip Boost is a prime example of what is possible when students’ entrepreneurial passions flourish with the support of the entire UMD community.”

The Grip Boost gel technology was initially invented to restore grip to football gloves. After gaining strong traction with football players across the country, the Grip Boost team set out to bring its clean grip technology to athletes in other sports.

The team added UMD chemical and biomolecular engineering alumnus Alex Langrock and soon released a reformulated version of the product for baseball players. The Grip Boost Batting Gel is a quick drying, alcohol-based gel that aims to give batters the extra grip and bat control they need without the mess of traditional grip enhancers, such as pine-tar. With product in hand, the team began showcasing their new baseball gel at tournaments and tradeshows across the country where they met Lizard Skins, the official bat grip supplier of MLB.

“When we first met Grip Boost we were very excited and enthralled by their product and knew that this was a product we wanted to be associated with,” said Brad Barker, general manager of Lizard Skins.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said Kevin Diehn, executive vice president of Grip Boost. “Over the past 5 years, Lizard Skins has revolutionized baseball at all levels with their innovative grip products. Through their sales and distribution networks, we will put the Grip Boost batting gel into the hands of elite players across the country. This partnership is an enormous milestone for Grip Boost Inc. and the University of Maryland community has provided us with tremendous support through each stage of our growth.”