Jan Akervall, MD PhD, an ENT surgeon ranked among the top 1% in his field 4 times in a row, invented the SISU Mouthguard in the operation room, to better protect the teeth of his patients. Together with Johannes Schwank, a world renowned Chemical Engineer from the University of Michigan, he founded Akervall Technologies Inc. (ATI) in 2009. The ultra thin, ultra strong and comfortable mouthguard turned out to be perfect for sports. Sassa Akervall, Jan’s wife, has a strong background in media, advertising, and communications, and started marketing the product from the kitchen table. Ann Arbor SPARK was important for ATI throughout the first initial years by providing expert consulting assistance and offered a network that quickly expanded ATI’s operations. In only 2 years, ATI, was profitable with 6 employees. The product line had grown to cater to all age groups and a wide variety of sports, and a night guard was added to accommodate demands from customers.



Kathy Capelli, COO