The Story of Surface Tech; Leaders in Innovation

By August 12, 2016 Asphalt

SurfaceTech CEO Nick Slinde Surface Tech CEO Nick Slinde has always been “hyper entrepreneurial.” When he saw the need to make roads and highways stronger, safer + longer lasting, he jumped at the opportunity to drive innovation in the category

I am often asked how a Portland business lawyer came to be the CEO of an asphalt additives company.

I began my career as an associate lawyer and eventually founded Slinde Nelson Stanford (// in early 2009.  The cornerstone of our firm was a desire to deconstruct the traditional style of legal service and create a deeper business relationship with each of our clients.

In mid-2014, I was introduced to the world of surface infrastructure.  After discussing some of the opportunities, I grew intrigued by a niche of additive products which showed promise enhancing the life and performance of asphalt.

It was out of these initial discussions that Surface Tech’s flagship product ACE Fiber was born. This wax coated aramid fiber was designed to control the delivery of loose aramid fibers and extend life of asphalt when properly disbursed into a standard mix. Early research and development was conducted in an owner’s garage and included taking loose aramid fibers, soaking them in melted candle wax, and placing them in an oven until the wax melted to verify the impact temperature would have on disbursement.

asphalt The idea behind ACE Fiber was to design a stable delivery system which controlled the loose fibers while being introduced into asphalt

Once the product use case was validated, we hired third party experts to manufacture the product in volume and perform standardized testing to validate efficacy. Armed with compelling test results, we introduced ACE to the marketplace at large.

In November 2015, recognizing the size of the market and need for a more comprehensive product offering, we restructured the company to build an end to end platform for manufacturing, selling and installing ACE.  President Steve Santa Cruz was brought on in late 2015 to spearhead the assembly of a national distribution platform and integrate a back-end QA/QC program offered by third party professional engineers on every installation.

During the first half of 2016, Surface Tech has pipelined almost 400,000 tons of asphalt projects.  We expect this growth trend to continue through 2016 and into 2017.