Cal Poly Student Startup Applied Silver Scores Big for Mustang Athletes

SilvaCleanSilvaClean, a product of Applied Silver, Inc., co-founded by Cal Poly graduates Sean Morham and Bill Morris, has been utilized by Cal Poly Athletics as a way to reduce bacterial contamination through its laundry equipment.

To date, more than 200,000 pounds of Mustang athletic gear has been cleaned with SilvaClean. The patented technology was developed by Applied Silver, a Cal Poly startup formed by a group of students and alumni, including Morham, now the CEO of the company, and Morris, both 2011 graduates.

“The SilvaClean partnership at Cal Poly is about reducing the risk of infection for athletes,” said Morham. “We see similar opportunities to promote healthier environments at the hospital level, where the risk of infection poses a significant threat.”

For two years, Cal Poly has been testing SilvaClean technology to reduce the level of bacterial contamination by treating all team uniforms, practice clothing and locker-room textiles. SilvaClean is a water-based, ionic silver treatment capable of reducing 99.9 percent of odor- and stain-causing bacteria on textiles each time they are laundered and throughout their use.

New athlete surveys – and the science behind SilvaClean – have Mustang head football coach Tim Walsh calling the technology a major win.

“In this day and age, anything we can do make athletics a safer, better environment for the athlete is a big bonus,” said Walsh. “From the equipment they wear, their uniform, game and practice gear – the way they are cleaned to promote a healthy and an infection-free use is foremost.”

Applied Silver Inc. is expanding its reach among healthcare providers. Morham cited growing interest in SilvaClean technology as a solution to reduce the risk of infection in hospitals.

“SilvaClean is the only holistic, single-source solution, offering an ionic silver treatment for all laundered linens and textiles,” Morham said. “SilvaClean makes existing textiles weapons against – not conveyors of – germs and bacteria, by adding persistent antimicrobial properties.”

Morham is a materials engineering graduate while Morris majored in biochemistry.

The device is proprietary to SilvaClean and is installed at the laundry facility. It creates, doses and monitors the SilvaClean solution to textiles in the wash wheel. The SC4700 is an automated chemistry process unit and is a union of electronic hardware and software. It has real-time internet/cloud connectivity. Additionally, it seamlessly integrates with any industrial washing equipment.

Employees of Applied Silver include Cal Poly graduates Stephen Albertolle (Agricultural Systems Management, 2012) and Brandon Chadwell (Engineering Technology/Electronics, 1978). Serving as board members and/or advisors are Cal Poly graduates Dr. Trees R Ritter (Biology, 1996) and Russ Bik (Industrial Technology, 1970). Bik, another founder of the company, is member of Cal Poly’s President’s Cabinet Advisory Council.

Dr. Leopold Selker, an in-residence Cal Poly research scholar, also is a board member and advisor for Applied Silver, as is Jim Copeland, longtime San Luis Obispo resident, community leader and philanthropist.

Applied Silver would like to thank and acknowledge all past and present Cal Poly students, alumni and faculty who have participated in the pursuit of our mission. Sean Morham – CEO. April 13, 2016