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NanoDynamics IPO Is Looking Needy

Initial public offering candidates like to preface their prospectus with a bit of imagery to give investors a quick taste of its offerings.

NanoDynamics, which filed for an IPO last week, is no different.

The Buffalo, N.Y.,-based clean energy start-up has a picture of Earth with a gigantic post-it note thumbtacked onto Greenland (I guess the post-it adhesive kept falling off the polar ice cap). On it are four "to do" items, all checked off: Energy, Water, Food, Environment.

NanoDynamics' goal, apparently, is to take care of all of these -- surely one of the most ambitious corporate visions since somebody promised to organize all the world's information. And who, in good conscience, could wish them anything but success?

To top it off, the company is going to do it all using nanotechnology. That puts NanoDynamics at the crossroads of everyone's favorite speculative theme of 2006 -- clean energy -- with everyone's favorite speculative theme of 2004 -- nanotechnology.

Unlike many of the nano-issues favored by speculative investors, however, NanoDynamics isn't quite the moonshot it appears to be. It claims to have some products ready for sale, including NDRevolution, a 12-volt portable source of power; and its Cell-Pore water filters, which are being evaluated by a number of potential customers.

On top of that, NanoDynamics lists in its prospectus many more potential products, each of which seemed aimed at a market poised for strong growth: carbon nanotubes, nanocement, bacteria-and-fungus-free surfaces, biofuel synthesis, and so on.

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