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Jeremy Jones: Have a partner you can work with

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 10:15 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at 11:10 p.m.

Jeremy Jones is in the midst of building his high-tech company, but he has a perspective that many of his peers don’t. He has been sitting on the other side of the table when entrepreneurs came looking for capital.

Before Jones and partner Jason Schmitt launched Nitride Solutions a couple of years ago, Jones was a vice president at the former Koch Genesis, a venture capital arm of Koch Industries.

Jones’ and Schmitt’s company at 3333 W. Pawnee is working toward becoming a manufacturer of aluminum nitride substrates, the material used in solid state electronics, light-emitting diodes and ultraviolet laser diodes. They say they have developed a process of manufacturing the material in large quantities and at lower costs.

And even though Jones has sat on the opposite side of the equity table, he said he’s learned a few things:

• Have a partner you can work with.

“You’ve got to be very compatible with your cofounder, stake out your own responsibilities,” Jones said. He said he and Schmitt have learned when to “stay out of each other’s way” and to “build on the other’s strengths.”

• Take advantage of resources outside the company. In Jones’ case he has used Wichita Technology Corp. to help him connect with potential investors and for things such as dealing with tax credits. “It just took a huge load off of something we would have had to learn from scratch,” he said.

• It’s wise to try to raise more money than you think you’ll need to get your enterprise going – and start the process of fundraising as soon as possible, said Jones, who so far has raised more than $2.5 million for his company from private investors. Fundraising is a lengthy “brick by brick, investor by investor” process, he said.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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