QWave Fund, a new, global venture capital fund focused on physics and material sciences, today announced its first round of investments, which include a total of $7M USD to Estonia-based Clifton, Indiana-based Nano-Meta Technologies, Inc. and North Carolina-based Centice. This round of investments marks the initial delivery on QWave's mission to further the commercialization of the scientific innovation of the future.
Launched in December 2012, QWave is the first fund focused exclusively on companies developing next-generation technologies based on material sciences and physics. Historically underserved by the VC community, these fields have recently seen a number of breakthroughs in areas such as quantum information processing, meta-materials and nano-photonics, and graphene and carbon nanotubes that will have the ability to solve real-world problems in industries such as IT, security, energy, medicine and aerospace.
QWave is backed by a team of PhDs around the world in nuclear physics and computer science, as well as engineers and scientists with proven entrepreneurial track records in business development and operational success. The fund's scientific advisory board includes professors and scientists from Harvard, Purdue and quantum centers around the world, including Canada, Russia and Singapore.
"The potential for material sciences and physics are almost limitless, and our goal is to help the companies working in these fields scale their technology and have a major impact on their respective industries," said Dr. Serguei Kouzmine, Managing Partner at QWave Fund. "Centice, Clifton and Nano-Meta Technologies exemplify the kind of cutting-edge companies that we want to work with and which we believe will help usher in the next technological revolution."
Founded by a team of professors of electrical and computer engineering from Purdue, Nano-Meta Technologies is creating technology that will significantly advance the fields of optical and quantum computing as well as enable new generation of devices for powerful super-resolution imaging, sensing, energy conversion and biomedical applications through the development of nano-scale optical components and novel materials. The company will use the new investment to produce a single-photon generator based on artificially engineered materials, or metamaterials, and to identify future development and IP protection strategies.
"The field of optical metamaterials has emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic fields in the science of light over the past few years, and the work we're doing in this field has the potential to radically advance both quantum and optical computing," said Vladimir Shalaev, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of Nano-Meta Technologies. "The investment and the strategic guidance from the team at QWave will help us accelerate our growth and develop products that will create the optical technologies of the future."
Clifton has created a new class of high-voltage semiconductors used by power electronics manufacturers in Europe, Asia and America in industries ranging from mining to space technology. The company's proprietary Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) process adds unique high voltage capability to GaAs at a low cost. In addition, GaAs diodes have excellent temperature stability, which helps to reduce energy consumption and cool various kinds of electronics during operation. The investment from QWave will allow them to retrofit their current lab in Tartu, Estonia for industrial production.
"We're focused on driving fundamental change in the semiconductor industry, helping power electronics manufacturers create better, safer and higher performing products," said Volker Dudek, CTO of Clifton. "From the beginning, it was clear that the team at QWave was a perfect fit for us -- they have the technical backgrounds to understand our business and the business acumen to help our company maximize its commercial and scientific impact."
Centice is pioneering chemical verification and identification using Raman spectroscopy and computational sensor technology. Its portable Mobile Field Lab-3000 system provides the security industry (police and homeland security) with technology to identify narcotics and explosives that is typically only available to crime labs. Funds will support R&D efforts to decrease the cost of production and increase sales and distribution.
"Our 2013 plan is very aggressive and the investment and work with the QWave team will help seal our strategic direction and the success of the MFL-3000 in the marketplace," said Centice CEO & President, Dr. Prasant Potuluri.