Visca turns students into employees in Detroit, expects to add 3 more

Visca not only specializes in developing micro sensors but also talented up and comers around its TechTown home.

One of the main goals of the Wayne State University spin-off is helping staunch the area's brain drain. It has gone from four to 14 employees within the last four years with some of those hires coming from within the university.

Visca has hired two former students within the last year and expects to hire another three within the next year. These jobs range from PhD scientists to engineers.

"We have roots here in Michigan and Detroit," says Gregory Auner, chief technology officer with Visca and professor at Wayne State University. "We want to see the brain power stay here and build the company organically."

The micro sensors Visca develops can be used for a number of purposes, such as creating a smart dipstick that measures auto oil levels or monitoring shipping containers to see if they have been tampered with.

The U.S. Department of Defense is looking at the possibility of using them in soldier's helmets. There they could help measure the seriousness of injuries. If successful, Auner could see this aspect of the technology transferring to sports and construction helmets, too.

He adds that Visca has grown exponentially within the last three years, expanding to a second lab in TechTown. It hopes to solidify its technology within the next year and develop 2-3 solid products within the next two years.

Source: Gregory Auner, chief technology officer with Visca and professor at Wayne State University
Writer: Jon Zemke
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