Thursday, March 17, 2011

ACI Spins Off New Company, MatWeb

Henry Bass (left) of ACI with Dale Kipp of MatWeb.

Automation Creations, Inc. (ACI) in Blacksburg has created a new spin-off from its online materials resource to MatWeb, LLC. MatWeb, LLC is owned by longtime ACI employee Dale Kipp. For ACI,’s spin-out accentuates exciting growth for both the ACI business model of custom software and website development, and the business model of advertising, premium-user subscribers, and content licensing.

ACI’s owner and President Henry Bass, says, “ is now positioned to accelerate its new product and service offerings. ACI, in turn, will benefit from an increased ability to focus on its offerings of web-based software development and support and to innovate in mobile software development. The two business models have been steadily progressing toward this spin-out for several years.” helps engineers and designers find material properties and identify materials that match their design specifications. Over 220,000 unique visitors monthly view, on average, three to five of’s 80,000-plus data sheets during each visit, for over eight million datasheets served in 2010. Most of's revenue comes from advertisers who want to be in front of new product design teams, manufacturing, and R&D users. enjoys additional revenue from premium subscribers who pay to save searches, export data to their design software, and make detailed comparisons, and from companies who license database components. Kipp was instrumental in building the original materials database in 1996, overseeing its growth from 500 materials at launch to over 80,000 materials today.

The search engine and underlying database have evolved through multiple revisions, each one significantly expanding’s capabilities and customer capacity. Participating in’s evolution through custom programming, database development, eCommerce and server hosting was a natural fit for Automation Creations through 2010.

Automation Creations, Inc. has been located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center since its inception in 1996. ACI employs 16 software developers, project managers, software trainers and software quality assurance experts. MatWeb LLC will move into a new office in the Corporate Research Center later this month.


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