Seven years after its founding as a startup business in Richmond, Grenova Inc. has moved into a new phase of development as a company.
“We have been growing quite significantly,” said Ali Safavi, the founder and CEO of Grenova, which has a mission to reduce waste, pollution and costs in the global laboratory industry. Grenova, which stands for Green Innovation, announced plans in April to relocate its operations from a 10,000-square-foot facility in the Manchester area of South Richmond to a 35,000-square-foot building at 1900 Ellen Road just north of Scott’s Addition. The company also announced plans to invest $10.6 million to expand its production and hire 250 people over the next three years. The newly renovated facility – formerly occupied by Sampson Coatings Inc. – is now operating as Grenova’s main office, research and development and manufacturing facility, with more than 60 employees.
Grenova designs and manufactures equipment that health care businesses, universities and government agencies can install in their laboratories to wash and sterilize plastic pipette tips, the small tools used to transfer samples in medical diagnostic tests and research projects such as drug development. Grenova’s goal from the start has been to reduce the billions of pounds of plastic pipette tips that are discarded after one use and end up in landfills.
“About every two and half years, we have tripled our footprint,” said Safavi, noting that the company started in 2014 in a 3,200 square foot office in Midlothian before moving to Manchester and now to the site on Ellen Road. At the new facility, the company can make up to 2,800 cleaning and sterilization units per year, per work shift, Safavi said. That’s up from a capacity of just a few hundred units at its previous location.
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