Business

CEO: Nitride Solutions in business with $1.8 million

Jeremy Jones' upstart company has raised $1.8 million from investors, and he expects Nitride Solutions to begin earning revenue next year.

The investments in Nitride Solutions have come from as far away as the West Coast as well as locally and regionally.

With the money, Jones said Wednesday, his company will begin producing aluminum nitride substrates by year-end.

"We think this can be a $115 million business in 2015," said Jones, Nitride's president and CEO. "We think it's going to grow rapidly."

The material is used in used in solid-state electronics, light-emitting diodes and ultraviolet laser diodes.

Jones said the company has developed a process that allows them to manufacture the material in volume but at a lower cost.

Jason Schmitt is a co-founder of the company and inventor of the process.

Nitride has begun purchasing equipment to make the material, Jones said. It will be manufactured in a 10,000-square-foot building at 3333 W. Pawnee.

The company has hired Clinton Whiteley, a process engineer who recently completed his doctoral degree at Kansas State University, and Ashley Mayo, a summer intern also from Kansas State, to help with the production and marketing.

Jones said Nitride has contacted some manufacturers that would be using Nitride's product.

"They are waiting for us to produce," he said.

He said recent investments were a result of him winning Kansas Pipeline's Innovator of the Year Award in January.

"It really got us over the top," Jones said.

Investors include Midwest Venture Alliance, based in Wichita; Nebraska Angels in Lincoln, Neb.; and Aurora UV in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"They have put together an experienced business and technical management team that is developing an industry-changing advanced material," said Trish Brasted, president and CEO of Wichita Technology Corp., who also is a managing member of MVA.

Jones said the company's current fundraising will continue through the end of September.

He said once production begins, the next step will be "being able to scale it to large volumes."

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