After the writing space finished on the big paper sheet stuck on the wall of their dorm room, three students of Babson College kept on thinking about innovative ideas to solve their space issue.
The trio, John Goscha, Morgen Newman and Jeff Avallon had been researching to prepare a paint which would make any surface a dry-erase whiteboard. When they were done researching, the next step was to commercially develop it, which took them five years of testing to make this idea a reality, and IdeaPaint got established in 2008.
Avallon, who became the part of their team in 2006 shortly after Goscha, said,” It didn’t take us five years to develop a working product; it took us five years to develop a safe product.” Unfortunately, the company’s first architect got disheartened by a paint test lab that it was impossible to turn their idea into reality and he left the company.
Avallon told that he and his team were never suspicious about whether they would be able to turn the idea into reality and said,” At that moment it was kind of heartbreaking because we were in debt by quite a bit. Our party line was you can land a man on the moon, we’re just trying to make a paint you can wipe markers off.”
Initially their paint was very toxic so they wanted to make it comfortably useable by all people: from professional contractors to even the students. They wanted their paint to work with every dry-erasable marker in the market and the stuff written on the paint had to be able to be written off even one year after it was scribbled.
“We weren’t the only people to think of this idea, we were just the only people to commercialize it and make it marketable,” admitted Avallon.
Avallon told that initially they financed their expenses themselves and then later by a financing of around $1 million from family, friends and professors at Babson who were expecting something big from the project. Later on in 2008 the company finally got launched at NeoCon exhibition and they landed their first contract with global paint distributor MDC Wall Coverings with which they are now co-branding and selling their product.