Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc.
is going after its first funding round of $500,000 next month. The Baltimore County developer of products for semiconductors, located in the incubator bwtech@UMBC
Research and Technology Park in Catonsville, expects to close the round by the end of this year. It is seeking funding from angel investors and will use the money to expand sales of its product line in Europe and Asia.
“We have many products for the international market. We want to increase sales of existing and future products,” says founder and CEO R.D. Vispute.
Blue Wave is also awaiting approval of up to $4 million in federal grants this year, from the U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Award and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The grants are intended for product development, not sales.
Blue Wave makes microelectronic and nano-electronic tools for semiconductors that academic and private research centers and laboratories use.
“Our core expertise is extending research abilities in nano and electric material. We expand the number of materials available for R&D,” Vispute says.
The company has developed a dozen physical and chemical tools for the R&D market. It has already received grants totaling $2.3 million from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, to develop radiation hard coatings for space application; National Science Foundation, for nanomaterials development; and Maryland Industrial Partnership.
Blue Wave grew out of research by Vispute, a research scientist in the physics department of the University of Maryland College Park. Founded in 2000, he moved into the UMBC incubator in 2004.
In 2011, Blue Wave entered into a partnership with Seki Technology to expand product sales. From 2011 to 2012, sales almost doubled, to $1.1 million. Estimated sales for 2013 are $1.6 million.
Clients include the U.S. Department of Defense and the universities of Maryland and California, as well as national laboratories in Singapore, Germany, Australia and India. On the private side, clients include Sylvania R&D Lighting Division, Pixelligent Technologies, General Motors and BAE Systems.
Within the next six months, the company is nearly doubling its current staff of six to hire up to four employees in engineering and nanotechnology. It is a finalist in the 2013 Maryland Incubator of the Year. The award will be announced later this month.
Source: R.D. Vispute, Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash