Renal Solutions developed a kidney dialysis system that requires only 1.5 gallons of tap water, enabling dialysis patients to receive their treatment at home. The vast majority of dialysis treatments today occur in centralized treatment centers, a model that has a negative impact on patients' care and quality of life and is straining Medicare and other reimbursement sources.
Renal’s CEO, Pete DeComo, contacted John McIlwraith early in the company’s development about a proposed financing round, and John ultimately co-led the company's Series A financing (which also included an investment from Don at Gazelle TechVentures).
After co-leading the Series A round, John continued his active role on behalf of the company. He served as chair of the Board of Directors’ Compensation and Finance Committees and worked closely with the CEO on a variety of activities. Specifically, John assisted with the search for a VP of Operations, identified the lead investors for the company's Series B and Series C financings, and ultimately assisted the CEO in negotiating with Fresenius on the sale of the company.
Renal was sold to Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS) in November 2007, five years after Blue Chip’s initial investment, for $160 million plus a $30 million earnout, that was fully achieved. Since the sale, Renal CEO Pete DeComo and John have worked together on several opportunities, and Pete is an investor in Allos.
Rubicon Technology (NASDAQ:RBCN) develops high-quality sapphire substrates and optical windows that are used in a variety of high-volume end-market applications including LEDs, radio frequency chips, blue laser diodes, and other optical applications.
Don Aquilano came across Rubicon when they were raising their Series B round, which he ultimately led, bringing in additional investors KB Partners, Adams Harkness Ventures, and River Cities.
While Rubicon possessed proprietary technology serving the exploding LED market, the company needed to both scale and vertically integrate to better compete, and Don’s background at Hewlett Packard was well-suited to assist with this challenge. Don led the company's Series B financing in 2002 and brought in several other venture firms to fill out the round.
In 2005, three years after investing, Don was named executive chairman of the company and led a restructuring of $10 million in debt, hired the current CEO and CFO, and organized and led the company’s IPO efforts (including the underwriter syndication). Don has also served on the audit, nominating and governance, and compensation committees.
In the several years following the Series B financing, the company grew revenues ten-fold and achieved profitability, going public in late 2007.