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Finding Your Niche for Success – How Four Innovators Found Solutions that Created New Markets

Trending Today features the inspiring stories of innovators and entrepreneurs who have founded successful companies and share their struggles and lessons learned along the way.  In a recent episode, we profiled several entrepreneurs who identified a problem, developed a solution and subsequently built a company around the innovation.  Here’s a look at how four successful companies discovered a niche in the marketplace:

The use of quantum physics to relieve pain is now an alternative to pills, injections and drugs thanks to a group of visionaries who advanced the technology of energy medicine. Luminas CEO Matt Case is a partner in Bionatus, LLC., which focuses on developing breakthrough scientific discoveries with significant global impact. Using his background in chemical engineering, he discovered an emerging technology that uses quantum physics to store the energy signatures of natural pain and inflammation remedies.

In 2011, Matt and his partners founded Luminas, headquartered in Irvine, California, to refine the technology into a pain patch that enables the body to choose and conduct which electrons it needs to reduce inflammation. “Electrons are imprinted into the patch and work naturally with your body’s own electric field to activate the innate healing energies in natural remedies that relieve pain and restore balance. This is energy your body already knows how to absorb and use without side effects,” says Matt.

“The Luminas pain patch allows athletes to work smarter because they can put a patch on before they train to decrease injuries and their level of discomfort. The patch is drug-free so there are no side effects.”  The Luminas Pain Relief patch gives consumers a drug-free alternative to treating pain and inflammation and fills a niche in the marketplace for pain management.

Fashion is about making a sartorial statement and one company is building a lifestyle brand that expresses love of country loud and proud. Tyler Merritt is the co-founder and CEO of Nine Line Apparel, ranked among the top 100 fastest growing privately held companies in the US by INC Magazine for two years running.

The veteran-owned company began three years ago in a garage and has grown into a huge company headquartered outside Savannah, Georgia. “We are relentlessly patriotic. We hold no punches. We don’t apologize for our love of country. We are America’s next greatest generation,” says Tyler. Nine Line ventured into fashion first doing custom apparel for the military, law enforcement and first responders

“Our clothing is about being proud of who you are, what you wear and how you walk through life.” The former Special Operations Air Mission Commander and MH-60 pilot named the company after the term “Nine Line,” a distress call made when someone is injured on the battlefield. As a military pilot, it was Tyler’s job to come in remove people who’ve been injured. Nine Line also has an altruistic mission, giving back to the military and first responders through a charitable foundation.

To date, the Nine Line Foundation has built five handicap accessible homes for injured veterans. “We have a strong give back mentality. The Nine Line foundation supports charities to enrich the lives of veterans.”

Global Upside found a niche helping companies conduct business abroad by providing integrated services via a single point of contact. Global Upside CEO Ragu Bhargava first saw a need in the 1990s to connect work in Silicon Valley with the labor force in India, so he developed the technology and tools that today empower companies in 100 plus countries. “Global Upside simplifies a company’s day-to-day operations, freeing up time and resources so it can focus on core activities,” says Ragu.

Global Upside’s services include Mihi, their proprietary HR technology – a cloud-based time and benefits management software that is compliance ready for more than 40 countries. The company also provides payroll, accounting, talent acquisition services and legal expertise.

“The complexity of a global business evolves constantly because different countries change their rules and requirements on their own pace. The way we stay on top is to make sure our teams are educated on a regular basis.” Based in San Jose, California, Global Upside also builds custom software solutions for clients. “We offer the full client journey from the hire to retire side and compliance and accounting.”

Noisy neighbors can be a problem in commercial settings so one enterprising contractor saw an opportunity to capitalize on the sound of silence. Bruce Burgess, founder and CEO of Mull-It-Over, created a trim cap for glass buildings that creates a sound barrier between walls. “Every glass building had a problem with sound traveling between the rooms yet there were no products on the market to solve the sound problem.”  Glass buildings are constructed using a grid of hollow aluminum tubes called mullions that attach to the outside of a building and the glass walls attach to that mullion grid. These aluminum mullions become part of the diving walls that separate rooms; however, they transmit sound.

Burgess believed there was a solution, so he used his wife’s down payment on a car to fund experiments in a sound chamber to understand the mechanics of how and why the sound was traveling through the glass curtain wall systems. This led to his invention, the Mull-It-Over mullion trim cap, a UL tested sound barrier that prevents fire from going through the mullion for up to two hours. The trim caps have been installed in over 1000 buildings worldwide. “We have a product that will change the construction industry.”

The Mull-It-Over mullion trim cap is a simple and clean trim detail for the exposed end of a partition wall that allows for differential movement between the partition and glass systems. It’s easy to install during new construction or to add during a retrofit to correct existing sound transfer problems or code violations.” The Mull-It-Over mullion trim cap fastens to the partition wall and mimics the look of the mullion and pulls the energy out the sound waves before it can reach the mullion. Today, The Mull-It-Over mullion trim cap has become a standard design detail for many leading architectural firms.

Stay tuned for more episodes of Trending Today coming soon packed with inspiration and the latest trends driving business today. If you have a business story to tell, send an email to our producer, Liz Plummer at

By: Karen LeBlanc, Host of Trending Today

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