11 March 2015
Nitride Solutions secures $3m in new funding from Asia-focused investors
Nitride Solutions Inc of Wichita, KS, USA, which manufactures bulk and template nitride substrates for LEDs, lasers and power electronics, has secured $3m in new funding as Hansol Chemical, Greenpoint Global Mittelstand Fund and Silicon Pastures Angel Investment Network have joined its existing investor group (which includes angel investors from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington DC, California and Alaska). Funds will be used to expand production of the firm's aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates, as well as to accelerate market introduction of its thermal management coatings.
"With Hansol we are gaining an important partner in Korea and Japan to exclusively represent our products and share critical customer feedback," says CEO Jeremy Jones. "Greenpoint brings deep knowledge of companies in Asia that are seeking US manufacturing capability," he adds.
"Nitride Solutions' technologies for UV LEDs is truly next-generation and are very excited about this investment and partnership," Cho said. "A partnership of this nature will help us accelerate toward technical leadership in electronic chemicals," believes Yeunjoo Cho, VP of strategic planning for Hansol Chemical (part of Hansol Group), a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals in Korea. "In return, Nitride Solutions will gain partnership in the high-demand markets of Asia and will be able to maximize the growth of the company."
"They [Nitride Solutions] bring solutions to some of the most difficult global issues," comments Teresa Esser, managing director of the Greenpoint Global Mittelstand Fund and Silicon Pastures Angel Investment Network. The Greenpoint Global Mittelstand Fund is a private equity fund addressing the challenge of exits. Its strategy is focused on investing in American companies geared for Asian exits, and it maintains relationships with firms in Asia that specifically seek American manufacturing and technology companies.
Teresa Esser and Andy Hannah join Nitride Solutions' board
Nitride Solutions says that Teresa Esser and Andy Hannah have joined its board of directors.
"Teresa brings great knowledge of corporate governance, finance and Asian business, and Andy has an extensive background in starting, growing, and exiting successful businesses," comments Nitride Solutions' CEO Jeremy Jones. "Andy's experience in the electronic materials space will be of immense benefit to us as we scale the business and accelerate growth," he adds.
During her career as an angel investor and venture capitalist, Esser has led investments in BioSystem Development LLC (now part of Agilent), Genii Inc (where she serves on the board), HarQen Inc, Intuitive BioSciences Inc, and Hardcore Computer (now LiquidCool Solutions Inc).
During the past 12 years, Esser has led or participated in 16 other early-stage investments. Beginning in 1999, she researched and wrote a book 'The Venture Café: Secrets, Strategies, and Stories from America's High-Tech Entrepreneurs' (published by Warner Business Books in 2002) about how MIT students commercialize their ideas and how venture capitalists decide in whom to invest. The ideas in the book and the brand surrounding the book were turned into a real-world Venture Café in Boston's Kendall Square, where weekly evening networking events draw more than 200 entrepreneurs, corporate lawyers, VCs and angel investors.
Hannah has had C-level executive roles at four high-tech start-ups, touching a range of industries such as information, software, consulting and materials science. In 2014, he co-founded OThot, a predictive and prescriptive analytics company that helps customers to predict, understand and change the future through a proprietary process that leverages data mining and analytics tools.
Prior to OThot, Hannah was co-founder & CEO of materials science company Plextronics, which focuses on OLED flat-panel displays and lithium-ion batteries. Plextronics raised angel, venture and strategic capital and was sold in March 2014 to Belgian chemistry company Solvay.
Hannah has worked with venture firms such as Trident Capital, Advent International, Safeguard Scientific, Draper Triangle and Birchmere, as well as with leading leverage buyout companies including Vestar and corporate VCs such as Samsung and Applied Materials.
Hannah is a board member and advisor to organizations such as the Katz Graduate School of Business, Liquid X Printed Metals, Etcetera Edutainment, and Niche.com. He has also served as a board member of the Organic Electronics Association (vice chair), the Pennsylvania Nanomaterials Commercialization Center, Leadership Pittsburgh, Leadership Development Initiative (co-founder), and the Executive Steering Committee of Pittsburgh's Tech-based Economic Development Strategy.