Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Colnatec, four others get seed money

By Patrick O'Grady

Five Arizona companies will get seed money from a pool of $1.5 million given out in an Arizona Commerce Authority program designed to reward innovation.

The companies are among more than 100 that submitted applications to the program last year. Each of the five will receive between $100,000 and $250,000.

The recipients are:
ColnaTec LLC, a Gilbert company developing sensors used in the semiconductor and solar industries.
Sedona Energy Labs with operations in Flagstaff and Sedona that develops solar tracking systems.
MSDx Inc., a Tucson medical company that developed a test allowing biomarkers to track the progression of multiple sclerosis.
TruckItNow Transportation, a logistics company in Tucson that ships items around the country.
BioVidria Inc., a University of Arizona spinoff in Tucson that has developed surface technology for labware that aids in genetic research

The funding is intended to help companies continue research and development while moving toward a commercialized project, said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the ACA.

Colnatec Wins ACA Arizona Innovation Challenge Grant

ACA’s Arizona Innovation Challenge winners announced
$1.5 million awarded to fund early-stage tech ventures across Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ (March 16, 2011) -- The Arizona Commerce Authority has selected the first five innovative Arizona companies to receive a portion of $1.5 million to speed development and the commercial launch of promising technology. The winning proposals showcase each company’s ability to attract outside capital investment, create wealth through fast growth, provide quality, high wage employment opportunities, and generate export sales and tax revenue.

“Now is the time to invest in Arizona’s entrepreneurs,” said Governor Jan Brewer.  “As we refocus on the state’s aggressive economic growth plan, we will continue to promote programs like this that are sure to increase our state’s economic competitiveness and drive new business to the great state of Arizona.” 

The Innovation Challenge winners in alphabetical order are:

·       Biovidria
·       Colnatec
·       MSDx
·       Sedona Energy Labs
·       TruckItNow

“The Arizona Commerce Authority is committed to the success of Arizona’s entrepreneurs and small technology ventures. We’re funding innovators that will bridge the gap between Research & Development and commercial launch of new technologies,” said Don Cardon, President and CEO of the ACA.  “We are proud to be able to fund such innovative technology; this gives Arizona another step up as we compete with today’s global technology industry.”

Over 100 companies’ submitted proposals, the field was narrowed to 25 in February and over the last month; the review committee selected the final eight.

Contract negotiations are currently underway; it is anticipated that an additional three companies will be funded in the coming weeks. Each winner will receive between $100,000 and $250,000. For more information on the winners and semi-finalists, please visit


Monday, March 14, 2011

HIRING: Thin Film/Vacuum Engineer

We're in need of a trained, experienced and skilled engineer with a strong background in Thin Film and/or Vacuum Sciences. This position will report directly to the CTO and be responsible for running experiments and leading activities related to machining hardware, vacuum coating deposition, machine maintenance, and projects related to our Department of Energy grant for CIGS solar cells.

4 year degree & 2 years process/production experience OR
2 year degree & 6 years process/production experience
B.S. Materials Science, Chemistry or Mechanical Technology preferred
Ideal candidate will have worked in semiconductor, optics, or solar manufacturing environment
Skilled in basic drafting, machining & electronics
May run test experiments and document findings
Will support manufacturing and R&D
Comfortable with MS Office (significant plus if you can write technical documents or grants)
Can fix high vacuum machines; Works well with tools
Comfortable working independently
No benefits initially
Temp to Permanent, full time, M-F 8-5 (some flexibility in hours)
Non smoking, must pass background check
Pay is $35-45K DOE and skills
We are an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer


This is a fun, exciting place to work where new science is being created every day. Our customers come from every corner of the earth, and we're expanding rapidly. Get in now, and we'll reward your loyalty!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

About the DOE Small Business & Clean Energy Partnership

One of the exciting things we've been working on at Colnatec in the last couple of weeks is the partnership of Colnatec and Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC) out of New Mexico by the DOE Clean Energy Alliance. Here's a little about TVC, who will be helping us find funding and commercialize our new products.

TVC is a founding member of the Clean Energy Alliance and serves on its executive committee.  Under a Department of Energy grant awarded to the Alliance, TVC and other Alliance members will provide a range of business services to U.S. small businesses that are developing and pursuing the commercialization of clean energy technologies.  Colnatec has been identified by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as a match for TVC, and the two organizations have  agreed to work together.

From a TVC marketing piece...

An Engine for Technology Commercialization and Job Growth
TVC was formed in 1993 as a nonprofit charitable foundation by Lockheed Martin Corporation as part of the
management contract for Sandia National Laboratories. Its mission was to commercialize federally funded technologies. Goals: job creation, business formations and equity funding. Beginning in 2002, under a DOE cooperative agreement, TVC extended its commercialization activities to support at various times other energy laboratories including Idaho, Argonne, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, Savannah River, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore.

TVC assesses commercially viable technologies developed in the DOE labs and elsewhere, conducts market assessments, trains entrepreneurs and prepares commercial business cases. Since its founding, TVC helped form 100 new companies, secure more than $1 billion in private-sector funding in more than 200 funding events and create more than 13,000 jobs.

Conducts a training program in its Center for Commercialization and Entrepreneurial Training that acquaints potential entrepreneurs with the components of forming, planning, financing, operating and expanding a business entity. Since its inception, CCET has trained more than 15,000 entrepreneurs in several states.
Prepared a seven-module, online federal technology transfer training course for DOE and lab employees.
Conducts workshops on writing patent applications taught by a licensed patent attorney. More than 300 entrepreneurs have participated to date. Presents quarterly market research workshops for entrepreneurs.
Offers workshops and newsletters for entrepreneurs on how to secure SBIR grants. More than 700 have participated in the program in the last ten years.

Employs a successful, unique commercialization model that connects innovators, entrepreneurs and investors nationwide to create companies and take federal laboratory inventions to the marketplace.
Works with venture capital firms and other investors throughout the country, bringing to their attention interesting new technologies, first-rate business plans and committed entrepreneurs.
About one-third of entrepreneurs who present at TVC’s annual Equity Capital Symposiums are funded—an unrivaled record. Fields advisory teams of business professionals who serve as pro bono mentors to entrepreneurs who are preparing business plans and presentations to investors.

Founding member of the Clean Energy Alliance, formed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to accelerate growth of cleantech companies; supports the NREL annual Growth Forum focused on funding cleantech entrepreneurs. Collaborates with technology transfer officials at DOE laboratories to help them fulfill their mission to commercialize technologies. Created an intellectual property “bundling” program with SNL, LANL, LLNL and NTS to leverage IP and promote the development of inter-institutional IP portfolios and facilitate licensing negotiations. Supports small business technical assistance programs offered by DOE aimed at helping entrepreneurs overcome technical hurdles.

Publishes Innovation Magazine, America’s Journal of Technology Commercialization, a bimonthly that circulates to more than 16,000 investors, scientists and engineers, technology company executives, entrepreneurs and technology transfer officials. Innovation provides readers with timely information on current research, best practices, funding resources, government programs and innovative ideas, with emphasis on DOE laboratories. Offers management team recruitment services to startup companies that includes job opening and resume posting on its technology job web site and personnel policy development guidelines.