Dayton entrepreneurs shift gears to meet COVID-19 challenge

Battle Sight Technologies workers with boxes of newly produced hand sanitizer ready for the front lines. CONTRIBUTED
Battle Sight Technologies workers with boxes of newly produced hand sanitizer ready for the front lines. CONTRIBUTED

Several Dayton-area companies are speedily pivoting from their typical products and services to address the COVID-19 pandemic with Dayton-developed ingenuity.

“We have a bunch of companies that are trying to take advantage and be of service,” said Scott Koorndyk, president of Dayton’s Entrepreneurs Center, a downtown Dayton haven and incubator for technology-focused business start-ups.

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Dayton-based Battle Sights Technologies is shifting from military and first-responder-focused battlefield and emergency technologies to make a more humble but much-needed product — hand sanitizer.

Nicholas Ripplinger, the U.S. Army veteran who founded Battle Sights, said the company recently completely retooled its Craytech production line to bottle hand sanitizer.

Craytech is the company’s flagship product, a writing device with a pressure-activated chemiluminescence that leaves writing markings that can detected by soldiers with night-vision gear, while remaining invisible to the enemy.

The result: Battle Sight has produced 925 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer slated for donation to police and first-reponders. “These are the kind of men and women who are on the front line and who don’t have a choice” but to risk their lives, Ripplinger said.

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While the company’s production line usually performs a hot pour of the waxy chemiluminescence substance, Battle Sight was able to quickly reconfigure the line for hand sanitizer bottling.

“That’s what makes Battle Sight unique — our speed,” Ripplinger said.

The company also plans to sell two-liter bottles of sanitizer.

Dayton-founded Tempagenix, meanwhile is making wearable thermometer strips — its usual product that is suddenly in very hot demand.

Tempagenix produces forehead thermometer strips designed to give quick, accurate readings, and the woman-owned company says its medical-grade adhesive will stay in place for continual monitoring for up to 48 hours.

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“They have been just deluged with orders,” Koorndyk said.

ACE Healthy Products is ramping up production of its disinfectant spray, Koorndyk said. The spray was first produced to deal with bed bugs.

“It turns out the same spray is very effective against the coronavirus,” Koorndyk said.

Dan Sands, who runs an Indianapolis medical device consulting firm, is working with ACE founder Anthony Watson, a Dayton registered nurse, to relabel and reformulate the spray for use against COVID-19.

“We are preparing to start shipping,” Sands said Tuesday. The spray “meets the requirements for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines that relate to the key ingredients that would treat COVID-19.”

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Although he wasn’t ready to name names, Sands said the company is in discussions with Ohio health care systems.

“We’re just converting over,” he said. “We have to get a new label and more inventory purchased, but we’re making that transition to start helping health care facilities and really any institutions that has workers that need surface disinfectant.”

Another local company, ePluno, started by a Miamisburg resident, is refurbishing face masks whose elastic bands have worn out, Koorndyk said.