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Grip Boost’s Spray Keeps Football Gloves Tacky, But They Need Manufacturing Help

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tight end Matt Furstenburg had sticky hands as a three-year starter for the University of Maryland football team, good enough to later earn him a spot on the 2013 Baltimore Ravens practice squad. Furstenburg caught everything that came his way, but he noticed a problem with his football gloves. They lost their tackiness after only a few days. “The only solution was to buy new gloves,” Furstenburg says. “And they’re pretty expensive.”

During his senior season, Furstenburg started researching the challenge. He partnered with Harry Geller, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, and together they approached professor Srinivasa Raghavan from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Working in Raghavan’s laboratory with two chemical engineering students, the team discovered an odorless liquid solution that restores gloves to their like-new tackiness without leaving residue on the football. Initial feedback raised concerns about the time it took the gloves to dry and their performance in the snow, which led to multiple prototypes and iterations. The process eventually led to Grip Boost, a Columbia-based start-up that sells 2-ounce bottles online for $10.99.

“We met with Under Armour, and they gave us suggestions,” Furstenburg said. “We were able to make improvements each time, and we are pretty happy with the product that emerged.”

Click here to read the entire article in The Washington Post.