With some 25 tiny technology companies in our portfolio, Harris & Harris Group, Inc.®, is one of the most active nanotechnology investors in the world. We have funded companies developing nanoscale-enabled solutions in solid state lighting, emerging memory devices, printable electronics, material science discovery and mass-manufacturing, organic-inorganic hybrids, next-generation semiconductor devices and equipment, thermoelectric, photovoltaic and battery technologies, as well as in various life-science applications of nano-structured materials.
We participate in venture capital syndicates in most of our investments, alongside top-tier venture capital firms as well as strategic (corporate) investors. Increasingly, Harris & Harris Group is a lead investor. We believe in the classical early stage venture capital model and disciplines. We think that most technology-based start-ups can use all the help they can get from the diversified experiences, Rolodexes®, complimentary business networks, technical expertise, up-to-date customer connections and financial resources that a syndicate of professional venture capital investors can provide.
We will invest at any stage prior to a company's initial public offering, and we will invest anywhere in the United States. Occasionally, we have also made private investments in publicly held companies (so-called "PIPE" investments). We have invested outside the United States, but rarely. Our current portfolio companies are distributed all across the country, plus one in Canada.
We are looking for scientific, technological, business and execution excellence. We are attracted to markets of significant size. But above all, we back passionate entrepreneurs who want to change the world with their tiny technology-enabled products.
Proprietary, well-protected and highly differentiated technology is a prerequisite. But above all, we are eager to invest in companies with market-centric strategies that seek to define and dominate large product categories.
Harris & Harris Group has been investing in companies with proprietary technology since 1983. For most of our history, we were a very small firm that invested in and helped develop early stage businesses, particularly ones founded on proprietary intellectual property.
Prior to 2002, we did not specialize in any particular industry vertical. Often, in our early days, we were the founding investor in our portfolio companies. In a given year, we might invest in only one or two new companies. Our financial successes include Nanophase Technologies, Genomica, NeuroMetrix, SciQuest, Ag Services of America, Molten Metal Technology, Re Capital Corporation, Capital Trust Company, Magellan Health Services, Alliance Pharmaceutical, NBX Corporation, Princeton Video Image and PHZ Capital Partners. Nine of these completed public offerings, the rest were acquired.
We first became interested in nanotechnology in 1994, when we invested in Nanophase, which subsequently went public in 1997. By early 2002, we were convinced that nanotechnology had matured sufficiently to provide us with a robust deal flow for the indefinite future. We began to focus exclusively on tiny technology. We began recruiting professionals for our Company with the requisite specialized backgrounds to capitalize on an emerging set of investment opportunities based upon the novel properties of matter at the nanoscale, as well as on related technologies.