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Thinking Big

The thin white gauze in Pete Geisen’s hand looks pretty ordinary, but put it under a microscope and you’ll see a technological marvel. The cloth is made of tiny structures, called nanofibers, that will someday be used in thousands of products, from baseball bats to bandages.

They have the potential to improve the efficiency of solar panels, extend the life of oil filters and increase the absorbency of diapers.

“In five years this is going to be a $1.4 billion industry,” Geisen says. “Nanofibers are going to touch everybody’s lives.”

Like a lot of recent graduates with advanced degrees, Geisen feels lucky to have a well-paying job in high-growth field. But his MBA from NC State did more than help him land a job. The university’s focus on entrepreneurship gave him the tools to turn a four-unit course into a for-profit business.