Independence Equity I, LP launched in December 2010. We plan to invest in 10-12 companies over a five year period. Following is a brief overview of our portfolio companies.
|Tagnetics, based in Dayton, Ohio, develops and manufactures electronic shelf label systems for the retail industry.Tagnetics’ ESL solutions enable retailers to maintain superior pricing accuracy and vital product data; change pricing and other data instantaneously on thousands of items in-store; and reduce labor and other costs and inefficiencies associated with conventional printed and manually-placed plastic tags.|
|Libertyville, Illinois-based 10x Technology, LLC develops and manufactures micro- and nano-structured polymer substrates that have applications in the Energy, Medical, Electronics, Transportation and Military sectors.10x’s products range from micro-needle arrays for transdermal drug delivery to Fresnel lenses for solar concentrator systems. The founder of 10x Technology, Mr. Robert Pricone, is the inventor behind the first micro-prismatic retro-reflective sheeting for high brightness traffic signs which are now found worldwide.
EVONIK Industries, a world leading manufacturer of acrylic sheet and molding compounds and bulk and performance monomers, is a strategic alliance partner of 10x.
|Champaign, Illinois-based Autonomic Materials, Inc. (AMI) provides innovative self-healing polymeric systems that are capable of autonomically repairing themselves after damage (coating systems such as paints that self-repair when scratched or damaged).AMI’s products are based on extensive research from the Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Group developed and patented technologies for the production of self-healing polymer systems.
AMI’s technology adds protection to high-value structures which are exposed to environmental stresses. Their systems are engineered to lengthen coating lifetimes, thereby reducing the costs (principally labor) and disruption associated with the recoating of surfaces.
AMI is currently working with more than a dozen potential customers and product specifiers, which include major coatings producers and end-users.
|Galesburg, Illinois-based Intellihot Green Technologies (Intellihot) is commercializing tankless water heaters that reduce water and energy waste and reduce installation and operating costs.With conventional water heaters, a substantial amount of water is wasted after a user opens the tap and awaits the arrival of hot water; the Intellihot design can provide instant hot water, reducing water wasted when people run their faucets excessively before use. Intellihot units can be installed in both retrofits and new construction. The company has demonstrated 40% lower natural gas consumption with its unit and a capital investment up to 50% lower than the boiler/tank system that it replaces in commercial applications. The Intellihot unit also provides a more consistent heat profile than systems in the market today, a common complaint from users of existing tankless water heaters.
Novel features include a self-learning software system, de-scaling techniques, remote monitoring, and master-less cascading that eliminates over-designs commonly used to ensure peak period hot water availability. It serves both residential and commercial markets and has several large scale deployments including the federal penitentiary in Pekin, IL.
|Columbus, Ohio based Nanostatics, Inc.’s patented technology allows inline production of nanofibers as part of a manufacturing process at speeds 10-100 times that of competitive solutions.Nanostatics has a proprietary platform technology that supports numerous applications – Air & Filter, Paper, Hygiene and Medical. Specific applications include: nanomaterials to enhance traditional fiber materials used in mechanical filters and specialty papers for ink-jet printers and “non-stick” paper for pan liners in the food industry.
The NanoStatics system can be placed inline in a manufacturing process and the nanofibers created thereby are deposited on a more traditional substrate (e.g. a filtration fabric or a paper manufactured by traditional methods). The addition of the nano-fiber greatly enhances the characteristics of the material and/or allows a reduction of cost in its manufacture while preserving desired attributes. The fibers formed by this process are typically 200 nanometers in diameter which is 1000 times smaller than human hair.
Key advantages that the NanoStatics process offers include: a small footprint device, lower capital cost compared to that of other solutions, and the ability to go to production speed with limited degradation in the nano-fiber structure.
|Madison, WI based EatStreet’s one-stop shop platform gives restaurants the ability to connect to their customers for online ordering through multiple apps, white label websites and services with no upfront costs.
A vast majority of independent restaurants do not offer online ordering. Restaurants that do create their websites and then decide to enable online ordering must contract with outside vendors to enable this capability, must also create mobile enabled websites, and then allocate resources, time and money for the ongoing support, maintenance and improvement of such capability. EatStreet offers a turnkey solution to restaurants and provides small, independent operators functionality normally available to only the largest operators. This includes sophisticated services such as hyper-local target marketing, order analytics, POS integration, and other capabilities of interest to the national restaurant chains.
|Michigan based Algal Scientific uses a proprietary process and specially selected strains of algae to produce high value compounds used for animal and human health.
Chief among these is beta 1,3 glucan, which research has shown to have significant immune boosting properties, and as a result is used in human functional foods, nutraceuticals, cosmetics and cancer drugs. For animal producers in particular, the company’s unique beta-1,3-glucan has been shown to increase growth rates, reduce feed conversion ratios, and lower mortality. The company addresses an animal feed market of over $740million in the US alone, with an international market >$3 billion.
|Chicago based NuCurrent is a leading developer of high-efficiency antennas for wireless power applications for a broad range of applications. NuCurrent has been able to prototype antennas with significantly better performance characteristics than other designs in the market, and has entered into various development/design arrangements with many companies that are developing and expanding wireless power products – a more efficient antenna can result in significant improvements (e.g. less heat production) for these products. Compared to standard antennas, NuCurrent antennas offer higher efficiency, smaller sizes, higher durability, greater distances, increased alignment flexibility, lower heating and direct integration with circuits.|
|San Francisco, CA based Swapbox runs a network of computerized kiosks that let users cheaply send and pick up packages at their convenience. The company’s mission is to fix the first and last mile delivery problem by providing a fully automated shipping solution that fits the consumers’ schedule.
On the delivery side, consumers are able to shop online and ship packages to a Swapbox located in a nearby convenient location with extended hours such as a 7-11, grocery store, gas station, etc. Swapbox notifies the consumer via email and/or text message with the pickup details when they arrive. On the sending side, consumers can take anything they want to ship to a Swapbox, enter a few details about where the item is being shipped and how fast they want it to get there. Consumers place the item in the Swapbox (it doesn’t need to be packaged), and Swapbox ships it via UPS, USPS or FedEx.
|Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., (ADT) based in Romeoville, Illinois, manufactures a composite engineering material, ultrananocrystalline diamond, which they bring to market as UNCD®. UNCD leverages the properties of natural diamond, such as hardness, low friction and conductivity, to provide a material that can be integrated into a variety of equipment and components.The company has contracts with some of the world’s largest rotating equipment manufacturers to help them enhance their seal faces and bearings. It is in process of launching its initial offering in the Ozone-driven water treatment market in 2016, leveraging the flexible nature of the company’s advanced nanodiamond technology.|