Flemming Tinker had the foresight to recognize the potential for a business that provides custom precision optical components and systems for defense and civilian applications.
However, he needed the funding to purchase $1.2 million of machinery and testing equipment that would enable AOS to enhance its unique processes and capabilities.
In addition to funding, AOS was interested in having someone review two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I proposals to NASA.
CI provided two SBIR grant reviews and AOS was awarded both grants by NASA. AOS has applied for a third SBIR Phase I grant, and CI approved a $30,000 grant match through its Small Business Acceleration and Commercialization program to help AOS win that grant.
In addition to the grant review, CI provided AOS with a $25,000 Small Business Innovation and Diversification grant that was matched by the University of Connecticut to provide an additional $5,000 to hire an Innovation Scholar, a program that allows students to design and pursue an in-depth research project during their final semesters.
CI also facilitated the introduction between AOS and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to raise the funds for machinery and testing, which led to the DECD and CI offering a $700,000 loan to AOS. The DECD also provided AOS with a $100,000 grant to purchase equipment through its Small Business Express Program.
“CI was the doorway to helping us understand how to utilize the state’s resources to build a successful company so quickly.” – Flemming Tinker, CEO, Aperture Optical Sciences
Three years after CI’s consultation and injection of capital, AOS now employs 16 people, including the former UConn Innovation Scholar.
Today, AOS has revenue-generating customers in defense, government laboratories and aerospace sectors, with half of its revenue coming from sales within the U.S. and the other half being generated from seven countries outside the U.S.
Aperture Optical Sciences was founded in 2010 and produces unique imaging products that support high-energy and commercial lasers and advanced aerospace imaging.
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