A local Chesterfield County business may spark a revolution in the billion dollar life sciences industry. The company, Grenova, introduced a way to dramatically reduce cost and waste by washing, sterilizing and re-using the millions of plastic pipette tips that pharmaceutical companies, university laboratories and biotech companies use every year. Currently, in most labs around the world, the tips are disposed of after they are used. “It is enormously expensive,” says Ali Safavi, the company’s 34-year old President and CEO. “More than 4 million pounds of plastic pipette tips are disposed of in landfills across the globe every year. Put those pipette tips end to end, and it’s enough plastic to circle the globe six times.” Grenova, www.grenovasolutions.com, designed a device that enables laboratories to wash, sterilize, dry and re-use the pipette tips many times over. The company sells the device to laboratories across the U.S. and will soon expand to international markets. Grenova, whose name stands for “green innovation,” has been operating in Chesterfield County for two years. The company has a group of engineering and technical staff and a small sales force throughout the U.S. and Canada. Grenova initially attracted start-up funds from angel investors, but as the company has matured, they needed the backing of a more traditional financial institution. That’s where Virginia Credit Union stepped in. Safavi was introduced to Brian Noel, Senior Business Relationship Manager at Virginia Credit Union. Brian took an active interest in their business and Virginia Credit Union provided a line of credit to serve as working capital for the company “What I loved about meeting Brian is that he was the only one who took time and said ‘Let me see your location, let me hear your story, let me see what I can do.’ He saw the potential in what we’re doing,” Safavi added.