The mission of Akina, Inc., is a combined effort within three divisions of the business:
- The PolySciTech division distributes and synthesizes a variety of unique products to aid scientific research with an emphasis on providing hard-to-find materials in a format which is conducive to research;
- The Microparticle division conducts research in the field of microparticle drug delivery systems utilizing the hydrogel template technology and provides formulations and microparticle manufacturing devices for companies seeking novel drug delivery options; and
- The Frosta® division develops, manufactures and delivers fast-dissolving tablet formulations.
Akina, Inc. began in 2000 as a small company owned by Kinam Park, a Purdue University Pharmacy Professor. This company began with the idea of Frosta-Fast Dissolving nutraceutical products. It grew with the addition of research polymers for slow drug delivery release, to be used by Akina, Inc. and sold to other researchers. Akina, Inc. was not growing to the potential foreseen by the owner and scientists, prompting a decision between closure or another direction to foster growth. The company eventually reached out to the Purdue MEP for assistance.
Akina, Inc. requested guidance from Purdue MEP with organizing and prioritizing top sales; marketing and advertising to specific sales targets and researchers; financial management, sales techniques; and website structure.
Purdue MEP provided assistance with:
- New sales techniques;
- Pricing structures, discounts, top product sales and reorganizing products;
- Marketing and advertising suggestions;
- Targeting key sales opportunities;
- Staffing suggestions for customer service, research, IT, and marketing;
- Selections of promotional items for conventions; and
- Website restructuring ideas.
Faced with the potential of closing the company, the determination of Akina, Inc. staff and scientists paired with the expertise of Purdue MEP turned the company in the right direction of promising growth and opportunities for a small business.
A few results from the partnership include:
- The company’s sales have increased from $33,516 to $608,283.
- Akina, Inc. moved to a new space and combined laboratories to decrease space needed, yet it is more organized and more efficient. This reduced the rent paid each month and has improved work performance. Cost savings equates to $23,981.
- The culmination of the marketing, advertising and website changes increased Akina Inc.’s brand awareness with more customers finding the company online. In addition, customers recognized the company’s differentiating factor of selling research polymers and offering specialized services without a minimum order.
- The information discovered through Akina, Inc.’s partnership with Purdue MEP resulted in a reduction of the Frosta line, which allowed the company to concentrate on promoting research polymers to research scientists, clinics, universities and hospitals. However, Akina, Inc. now sells the licensed technology of the Frosta line.
“We highly recommend working with Purdue MEP to assist with company growth, restructuring and great business ideas. Purdue MEP has helped Akina, Inc. with growth opportunities, finances, restructure product selections, and our website. Purdue MEP has given us an outside view of our company with new ideas to increase sales and business exposure worldwide.”
- Marietta Smith, Business Office Manager, Akina, Inc.