Keeping it Clean Along the Gulf CoastNov 06, 2023
Opening a start-up business often means taking a big risk, but having the right partner on your team can make all the difference. Gulf Sterilization was created to meet the need for a contract medical device sterilizer. “Any device implanted in the body has to be sterilized before distribution,” Owner Michelle Scott explains. “Many medical manufacturers outsource the sterilization process to companies like ours.”
With no contract sterilizer along the Gulf Coast, the timing was right to open the business. Since many devices are complex or contain batteries that cannot tolerate heat or moisture, they must be sterilized using a gaseous method. Gulf Sterilization uses an environmentally conscious method of sterilization through chlorine dioxide. “Ethylene Oxide, the industry standard for years, has been deemed carcinogenic and the emissions need to be reduced according to recent EPA findings” she says. “Our method is not only effective, but it is safe for our employees and those in the surrounding communities.”
Finding just the right facility for the business was key, as it had to be climate-controlled with 18-wheeler truck access. Michelle began working with Sam Renta and Alliance Capital Corporation in October 2022 after a referral from their bank, Oakworth Capital. “Sam was so patient with us and was quick to respond to every question I had,” she explains. “It has taken a year to find the location, get the chamber installed and to receive stage 1 ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification. Sam was so encouraging during every stage.”
The 5300-square-foot location is divided into the sterilization area, a warehouse and office and lab space. It’s located along the intersection of major interstates I-65 and I-10 in Mobile, and near its large port. “It’s a great option nationwide because of the logistics due to the port,” Michelle says. “We are finally open and taking product!”
Michelle stresses that having Alliance Capital at her side has been instrumental. “We absolutely could not have opened this business on our own,” she says. “The SBA process is daunting and complicated, but Sam does a nice job of telling you what is needed and what you need to do to meet the requirements.”
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