Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Tatsuya Nakagawa, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Castagra, a business founded in 2009 that creates industrial coatings for protecting steel, explains how this image represents his business.
This photo is of a castor plant. It is the key ingredient of our sustainable industrial coating product. Our co-founder and CEO Peter Roosen developed this technology decades ago for coatings and composites, but only the composites side was fully commercialized.
In 2009, we decided to go back and launch the coating side of things. The technology leverages the natural properties of castor oil to create a coating called "Ecodur." It is considered by our clients to be better than conventional petroleum-based coatings products, like harmful epoxies, in almost every way. Our challenge from day one has been competing with giant coatings companies that possess a huge sales force and a big marketing budget to match.
We started in the oil and gas industry, and with the help of our talented sales vice president, Matt Cullen, we were able to convert one large company after another. Although we had limited resources, the value proposition of the product found a way to shine through. From there we diversified to food facilities and water and wastewater facilities, where we saw the same amount of excitement for our product.
One of our CEO's key mantras is "How do we make the world a better place?" By helping reduce the harmful chemicals used in the coating industry, we feel we are doing our small part.
We work hard each day to find new and innovative way to utilize this castor based technology. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with amazing people around the world and it’s all because of this plant.