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From the Desk of the CEO






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Skip Navigation Links2000 Releases > Janaury 10, 2000

Cleaning The World One Vehicle At A Time 

Des Moines Business Record

By Joel Palmer

For 25 years, Dwayne Fosseen has worked to reduce world pollution. Now he wants to take his company public.

Resting beneath the shadows cast by a towering grain elevator, the generic gray-painted building almost looks abandoned. The only identifying marker is the words “Fosseen Manufacturing” painted on the front door in gothic lettering.

Immediately inside, a machine shop containing three high-performance engine blocks sits idle. Beyond, activity busses in the office area. Phones constantly ring. One employee is coordinating marketing efforts. Another is updating a Web site. Two more are filling orders. The secretary is preparing a mass mailing.

Back in the corner of Dwayne Fosseen’s office. His wood-paneled walls hold a pair of old family photographs, plaques, Post-it notes and promotional posters. Just above his computer is a drawing of the office building that will soon replace the worn-out structure. The 54 year-old Fosseen is on a quest. Two years ago, he founded Mirenco, planted in his lifelong hometown of Radcliffe. From this modest building is this sleepy 600-person village derives a company that could someday better the world. At the same time, it could save every driver money on fuel and make a lot of investors a lot of money.

Throttle Control

To chat with Fosseen is to be schooled in environmental science. He’ll tell you that pollution has caused recent severe weather patterns. Storms, he says, are nature’s way of cleaning itself.

The chief cause: automobiles. One billion cars operate in the world, he says, and each one wastes 20 to 30 percent of its fuel because of improper burning. That waste accounts for 80 percent of the toxins spewed into the air.

“When you look at a city skyline and see that haze, what you’re looking at is the fuel that didn’t burn properly.”

While others point to alternative fuels and smaller engines a solutions, Fosseen says there‘s a simple cure. It’s all in the throttle, the valve that controls the fuel flow to the engine.

“Every vehicle has a throttle,” says Fosseen. “There are no regulations, no laws and no restrictions to prevent an operator from pushing it to 100 percent.” That, he says is what causes wasted fuel and higher emissions.

Of the seven patents Fosseen lays claim to, the cornerstone is DriverMax, a computerized throttle control system. The device is a brick sized computer software system that controls the acceleration cycle by optimizing fuel flow. It operates between the gas pedal and the engine. Fosseen claims it increases fuel mileage 5 to 10 percent and reduces emissions by over 50 percent. And it doesn’t affect a vehicle’s performance.

Fosseen started two years ago by demonstrating 300 units across the country, targeting the country’s most polluted cities. Today, Mirenco’s market is quickly expanding.

Louisville just ordered $94,000 worth of the devices to install on its buses. Memphis bought 29 units and recently placed an order for 65 more. Mirenco has a contact with a bus manufacturer in Canada. A tour bus company that provides transportation at Grand Canyon National Park is a satisfied customer. Steve Forbe’s campaign tour bus had a DriverMax installed. And Fosseen’s headed for Mexico to peddle his product.

According to the company’s latest prospectus, projected sales figures for 1999 totaled $85,000, triple its ’98 sales.

The climate for Mirenco couldn’t be better. Fuel prices are rising. Plus, the onslaught of floods and hurricanes around the world has re-ignited concerns about the effects of global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency has already proposed higher emission standards for trucks.

DriverMax owes its beginnings to the oil crisis of the mid ‘70s. Prior to that, Fosseen was an inventor, manufacturing accessories for name-brand tractors. He put that all aside to focus on ways to reduce the county’s dependence on foreign oil, and to clean the ecosystem.

Fosseen first went grant hunting, applying for anything that might pertain to his venture. His major score was obtaining a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) grant from the Department of Energy. Under the agreement, the government took Fosseen’s prototype and engineered it into a marketable product.

Going Public

Fosseen needed more than grant money, but he didn’t want to go through banks or venture capitalists and surrender company control. So he went the way of a direct public offering.

Under the rules of the initial DPO, Mirenco was allowed to sell 200,000 shares at $5 each to Iowa residents. With just word of mouth, the offering sold out in less that a year. Another $250,000 had to be turned away.

A second DPO, started last August, allows the company to sell 2 million shares at the same price. The one was heavily advertised via radio, television and direct mail. Fosseen expects to run out of available shares by next month.

Eventually, Fosseen wants to put the company on Nasdaq. “I knew from the beginning this was Wall-Street material.”

Once the company is listed on Nasdaq, Fosseen will place ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and big-city newspapers. In them, he will offer non-exclusive patent rights to the first automakers, first truck manufacturer and first industrial equipment maker to bite on his overtures.

“We think this mechanism should be made available to everybody that buys a new vehicle,” says Fosseen.

This is where his environmentalist ways take over. Fosseen plans to use the proceeds to reduce overhead on the DriverMax, for the sole purpose of making it available to every driver in the world. His utopian goal is that every car on the road – from a ’72 Chevy Nova to a 2000 BMW – will have a DriverMax installed.

Right now, the DriverMax costs $450. Fosseen hopes to get the retail price down to $200, making it affordable and offering a quick payback of about three months.

Green Company

With a black hat covering a balding head, green flannel shirt and brown leather work boots, Fosseen looks the role of Iowa farmer. Yet he speaks like a granola-munching environmentalist.

He revels in childhood memories of unhazy skies and fluffy clouds. Every so often, he ventures to the northern outreaches of Canada to experience again a pristine environment. His business cards are adorned with a scenic picture of a red-tailed hawk, a bird he admired while bailing hay for his father.

The DriverMax isn’t the only of Fosseen’s green creations. There’s the EconoCruise, which can be described as a smarter version of a standard cruise control. It uses the same technology as the DriverMax, with the addition of global positioning satellite technology. It can foresee upcoming hills and curves and will automatically adjust the throttle to compensate.

Fosseen has also created his own fuel additive, HydroFire, Which is 60 percent water, 39 percent ethanol and 1 percent lubricant. Five Seasons Transportation and Parking in Cedar Rapids has used the additive in its buses for 12 years and has cut emissions by 65 percent.

“Mirenco is a green company,” says Fosseen. “If we don’t do something now, the air and weather patterns will only get more severe. Our generation has been the worst in history as far as polluting the environment, and at this rate it will take several generations to clean it all up."

About Mirenco

Mirenco is a Radcliffe, Iowa-based Company that specializes in patented vehicle management technology and consultative services for reducing vehicle emissions, improving fuel economy and lengthening the service life of heavy-duty diesel vehicles.  More information is available at, or via e-mail at or by calling 800.423.9903.

Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking in nature.  Actual results may differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements.  Additional information concerning Mirenco, Inc. can be found within Mirenco's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Statements in this release should be evaluated in light of this additional information.

Contact Information:
Dwayne Fosseen

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