Two Wichita companies to present at investment forum

Wichita will have its strongest showing yet at the region's largest venture capital forum set for later this month.

An InvestMidwest official confirmed this week that the two local companies scheduled to present at its forum are the most in its 10-year history.

Last week the organization said three Wichita companies would be presenting at the two-day conference that begins March 24 in St. Louis. But one of the three has withdrawn.

The two planning to present are Nitride Solutions and Integrated Media Group.

Nitride recently relocated to Wichita from Manhattan and is commercializing a manufacturing process for aluminum nitride, a material used in next-generation light-emitting diodes.

"It was an honor to be selected because it was a large group of applicants," said Nitride CEO Jeremy Jones.

Christine Walsh, InvestMidwest executive director, said her organization received more than 110 applications from companies around the Midwest wanting to present. Forty-five were selected.

Jones said he hopes to connect with venture capitalists at the conference who may later become investors in his company.

"You're not going to come out of there with a check," Jones said.

Presenting companies have a few minutes each to present their business plans to an audience of venture capitalists.

The forum provides companies like Nitride an opportunity to get their names and business plans in front of an audience of potential investors.

"If you look at the list of venture folks (at InvestMidwest) it's a very robust list," Jones said.

Integrated Media Group is developing autonomous sales kiosks that feature gesture technology.

Founder Jason Opat said he hopes participation in the forum leads to a direct equity investment in his company "that will help us grow considerably."

He said IMG is getting closer to taking on some big customers and a successful outing at InvestMidwest "will let us turn on that next phase much faster."

InvestMidwest said that in the past nine years it has helped presenting companies raise more than $400 million in equity investments.