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This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every TV police drama has one-a lab full of expensive equipment to analyze mysterious powders or fibers from a crime scene. Looks high-tech, right? Not compared to a new device developed by DeltaNu of Laramie, Wyoming. The company's new hand-held device, called Inspector Raman, sniffs out substances from cocaine to anthrax faster than you can say CSI: Miami.

How did a tiny company in Wyoming develop this breakthrough technology? Dr. Keith Carron, a chemistry professor and co-founder of DeltaNu, says the R&D funds came from the government's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. Along the way, DeltaNu used these same grants to develop a string of other lab machines now sold to police departments, universities and other customers worldwide.

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