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since last Monday, nakamura fix two mobile phone has been ringing off the hook, his E-mail inbox and voicemail are in a state of full.
nakamura 2 (Shuji Nakamur), born in 1954, Iran, Japan, Japanese, American, electronic engineers at the university of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) engineering college professor of materials. He was in Japan in 1993, the chemical industry co., LTD (Nichia Corporation) during the inauguration, based on GaN developed high brightness blue leds, so well known. At that time, the development of a blue LED is thought to be impossible, only red and green leds after 20 years. On October 7, 2014, the red battery yong, amano wong and nakamura fix for invention of “efficient blue light-emitting diodes,” won the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics.
but it is not always smooth.
the beginning meet predicament
Soraa innovation in fremont, California company, based on nakamura fix two research excellence in light-emitting diodes, focus on research and development of high-end light-emitting diode. Founded at the beginning of the heyday of clean energy technology. So at that time, nakamura 2’s co-founder, trying to persuade nakamura trim two of his research results into commercial production. But this is only 6 years ago. Soon, some with high visibility of clean energy technology companies have operational problems, especially the most striking solar companies already business fail, is passionate silicon valley venture capitalists pledge poured a basin of cold water, they had to be treated with caution in clean energy technology in the field of investment.
based on the above various reasons, clean energy technology instantly ushered in the trough of the whole industry. Founded soon Soraa company’s development prospects are bleak. “For some time, the company’s financial in a serious crisis, and even sometimes employees are worried about the base salary of this month will also be affected.” Soraa’s chief executive, Jeff Parker (Jeff Parker) said.
from the difficult survival Soraa company we can see that the whole start-up companies in the field of clean energy technology in a very difficult time – even a Nobel Prize winner support company will not be valued by investors, in these years are going to get a great deal of financing is not easy. But in contrast, other industries, such as consumer software, a lot of money flows to the low cost of industry, especially in communication and by sharing application.
high cost, low investment, entrepreneurial firms struggling
“the great inventors because nobody supported their research invented almost reduced to take to the streets to beg,” Vinod Khosla, Vinod Khosla said, he gave his name to form the Khosla vc firms is one of the few sponsored Soraa vc firms of the company. Besides khosla vc firms, Soraa also gives several other investment companies: NEA (NEA), NGEN Partner and Angeleno Group.
as one of the Soraa minority investors, Mr Khosla bound up behind it. As early as ten years ago, clean energy technology has just started rising, Mr Khosla is took a fancy to this one. At that time he found just came to the United States from a Japanese company exit 2 professor nakamura, who taught at the university of California, Santa Barbara. Khosla perusal not only professor nakamura in LED research papers, and professor nakamura told him he ought to have put his findings into valuable business. But repair nakamura 2 on the grounds that the job is busy declined khosla invitation. Until 2008, when Mr Khosla finally persuaded nakamura launched Soraa company take two. Khosla, as well as his venture firm, is also a few of them have been in clean energy technologies hold optimistic attitude, he is very hope to be able to become early investors in this field.
in popular culture, the LED is a light-emitting diode. Scientists through semiconductor devices can make it different colors of light, as the three primary colors of red, yellow, light blue light found 30 years ago came through the hair bright export, but blu-ray export scientists have tried more than 30 years. The three primary colors is complete as the derivation of the blue, that is to say, can be produced through the colors of various combinations of colors of light.
look Soraa than others more adequate funding, but once Soraa still faces serious financial crisis. Ordinary company produces the LED chip is made from a gallium nitride and other material, such as crystal sapphire or silicon carbide. And Soraa because always adhere to the development of high-end LED products, and rank can confuse the saying goes, only because of Soraa always adhere to the development of high-end LED products, so in addition to other impurities gallium nitride materials shall not use, while the production of the LED lamp can rival the natural light, but the production cost of development is also off most of the company. So even if a seemingly have sufficient financing, Soraa day is still having a hard time.
after hard study phase in the past, the company needs more funds to expand the market. Soraa have to try to find other vc firms, but also promote Soraa’s biggest investors khosla vc firms to provide more money.
in the case of capital operation is extremely difficult, companies have to put some of its discovery into other emerging companies, so as to reduce their daily expenses. In 2010, Avogy separated from Soraa, specifically for mobile devices provide new energy system; In 2013, a Laser technology development company and separated from Soraa, established to Soraa Laser Diode. This year, the Avory from Intel corp for about $40 million in financing. But so far, Soraa itself has raised more than $100 million, including $2011 in 2011.
“sometimes you will feel that their behavior is very stupid, you can’t don’t doubt my own judgment,” said khosla, speech refers to Soraa constant investment. “When investors are no longer in the market, even a Nobel Prize winner is difficult to help investors to build confidence for their investment.”
Nobel Prize can reverse the future?
however, optimistic people always believe that the dawn will come – there are signs that the investment environment of clean energy technology bleak malaise is gradually improving. This has been more and more capital began to flow to distrust, especially in solar energy, wind energy and transport companies. According to PWC, according to a report in the first half of 2014, the total financing amount in the field of clean energy technology to $1.1 billion, compared with the same period last year increased by 50%.
according to Mr Khosla, in recent years, venture capital firms for clean energy technology receded passion has led to them in a change in the direction of investment. Khosla, also like other vc firm, has suffered losses – khosla investment company, Range Fules, despite the financing amount is more than $165 million by 2011, but eventually have to file for bankruptcy protection. But still says khosla setbacks will not bother him to sustainable energy startup investment enthusiasm, but the setback let the company to investment behavior more cautious. And although he saw the clean energy technology company’s market has a tendency to rebound, but he still hope this trend will remain stable.
“in 2010, we are looking forward to other investors and investment, the company with us now, we don’t have any hope.” Khosla said helplessly.
accident to happen from time to tome, nakamura in two and two other scientists because of the invention “efficient blue light-emitting diodes,” won the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics, the invention makes the light utilization efficiency has been greatly increased and it also becomes easier to use, but the real changes in the technological innovation can bring Soraa company? And now Soraa market mainly concentrated in the field of business, in the popularity of mass market needs to be improved. In general, Soraa company future development, and how even if there is the glory of the Nobel Prize, who can guarantee.
but chief executive, parker says the Nobel Prize for physics to bring positive effects may give some companies improve visibility, he hopes to win more customers and investment.
“hope company can all improve in the future.” Parker said.