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Duluth rubber latex company wins innovation honor

ATLANTA - Vystar, a Duluth-based business, was named one of the Technology Association of Georgia's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the state at the Georgia Technology Summit on Wednesday.

Vystar executives had a feeling their business was innovative when they entered the competition, but worried they weren't what the Technology Association of Georgia was looking for.

Vystar is involved in the research, development, testing and commercialization of Vytex - a natural rubber latex with undetectable allergenic protein levels.

Vystar Vice President Bill Doyle said in the past almost all of the winners have been software and computer companies.

"We looked at making the Top 10 as being a breakthrough in different technologies getting recognized," Doyle said. "We wanted them to focus on things other than software and computer technology, and we're glad they started with us."

As their reward, Vystar and the other nine winners made three-minute presentations about their businesses at the summit.

Nearly 100 businesses applied for consideration as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Georgia.

The Technology Association of Georgia whittled the businesses down to a Top 40 and a Sweet 16 over the past several weeks.

All of the Top 40 companies set up booths at the summit to showcase their businesses.

The Intellection Group in Duluth, which made it all the way to the Sweet 16 but fell short of making the final 10, said having a booth gave their company some great networking opportunities.

"We're still really pleased with what we accomplished," said Dave Bernard, vice president of The Intellection Group. "The quality of people walking the conference was tremendous, and it was a great opportunity for our business."

Gwinnett had seven companies in the Top 40 and two in the Sweet 16.