Jordi Arbusà and Kiko Ripoll patented a unique adhesive technology that can adhere under water and in the most extreme conditions. The Fluidra Accelera acceleration programme has allowed them to diversify their product, boost sales, get funding and launch SBPOOL, an adhesive for pools with the Fluidra seal.
In discussing the effectiveness of the adhesive technology they came up with eight years ago, Jordi Arbusà, chemist and founder of Sailing Technologies, doesn’t need a formula to prove it: “There are five times more astronauts than athletes capable of sailing around the world on their own, or with another person, and this glue worked for one of these 100 unique athletes.” Specifically, he’s referring to Pachi Rivero, an ocean skipper who repaired his sailboat with this super-strong adhesive while crossing the oceans as part of Barcelona World Race in 2010.
“These athletes are my idols. In addition to being athletes, they’re also doctors, engineers, artisans… they’re very special individuals,” Arbusà continues, remembering the early days of the company. “Pachi Rivero commissioned us to create an adhesive that could be used to repair the onboard material he would use to sail around the world. It’s like being a football fan, knowing a bit about making shoes and having Messi ask you to make him some cleats. I took it as a personal challenge. You get excited and say you’ll keep at it as long as it takes. And we did.”
From that point, engineers Jordi Arbusà and Kiko Ripoll continued testing their technology on prestigious boats and competitions (Volvo Ocean Race 2011- 2012 and Vendée Globe 2012- 2013), patented it and started Sailing Technologies, their own company. Given how effective the technology is, able to repair almost any material in even the most extreme conditions, their brand, DrSails, became closely tied to the boating sector.
Adhesive technology with extraordinary characteristics
This technology stands out from its competitors because it can be used in wet environments, even under water. “Plus, it’s flexible, shock-absorbent, versatile and comes in single-use packets that can be tucked into a rucksack or emergency kit,” adds Ripoll.
After four years marketing this line of products in the nautical sector in more than 45 countries, under the DrSails brand, Arbusà and Ripoll began wondering about adapting it to new markets. It was then, at IQS Tech Fest – the top trade show for industrial entrepreneurship held by IQS Tech Factory in Barcelona – that Sailing Technologies contacted Fluidra Accelera.
Ever since, they’ve been working together on a strategy to diversify the product, boost sales, get funding and break into new sectors with a well-studied business plan. “Fluidra Accelera is helping us grow the company. They are advisors and promoters, but also a gateway to commercialisation. This is what made us fall in love with working with Fluidra,” says Arbusà.
The acceleration contract they have just signed with Fluidra Accelera, therefore, will open doors in the pool and construction sector and give them access to the consumer market through the solid Fluidra commercialisation channel: SBPOOL, the pool-repair adhesive, will be launched under the seal of the multinational leader in pool and wellness. “We’ve come up with a product that works for all users, whether they have a pool in Almería or a sauna in Helsinki,” explains Arbusà.
The SBPOOL products have the four properties characteristic of their adhesive technology and have been tested in real environments. “The chemical world is highly complex, and any factor can cause the product to react. With Fluidra Accelera, we’ve been able to test it exactly how a pool owner would use it. This allows us to certify that it works under any conditions, and not only in a controlled laboratory environment,” concludes Arbusà.
On a strategic level, the Fluidra Accelera acceleration process has also helped them create their own technology brand, GLOO, which they are using to develop and sell their ground-breaking technology in other sectors. “Our technology was disruptive six or seven years ago when we launched the product, and it still is today. It is the perfect letter of introduction to mass-consumption companies,” Ripoll finishes.
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