NovaSol Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

NovaSol, one of Hawaii's home-grown high-tech ventures, marked its fifth year in business November 6 with an open house at its Alakea Plaza facility.

Dignitaries and representatives from the business community joined staff and executives as they showcased the progress, technology, and products of the company since its 1998 beginning at Manoa Innovation Center.

Today, the employee-owned company is headquartered and occupies two locations in downtown Honolulu and has grown from an original staff of 12 to more than 75 in Honolulu and several Mainland offices, including San Diego, Los Angeles and Orlando.

"We reached our fifth anniversary—a milestone for start-ups—as a result of hard work by a dedicated staff that has focused its expertise, ingenuity and energy to succeed in a very competitive marketplace," said James Karins, President. "We have articulated a business philosophy that encourages creativity, rewards effort and shares the success. And because we are young, we don't have the 'always done it that way' mentality to overcome."

"We are proud to be a part of the Hawaii technology industry," Dr. Karins added. "Starting up in Manoa Innovation Center's incubator was a boost for us, and we believe that by moving up and out we have proved that such initiatives can play a role in expanding and strengthening this business sector in Hawaii."

Many of NovaSol's Hawaii employees are long-time Hawaii residents, often associated with the University of Hawaii, where the geophysics and earth sciences programs have provided training and partnerships for the company's ventures. "We also have been able to provide good opportunities for people who lost jobs as a result of other companies' moves or downsizing," Dr. Karins noted.

"Hawaii is a great place for a business like ours. We are able to accomplish incredible things in Honolulu, our headquarters. The advantages that Hawaii offers in terms of environment and resources enhance our activities. Although many of our products are destined for Mainland facilities, we can do development, testing and manufacture here really efficiently."

NovaSol started with an initial investment by a core group of employees. A profit was shown in the second quarter of the second year, and the company has been profitable ever since. Revenues have undergone an explosive 2000 percent growth since its beginning. The company has no debt and no external funding; it has been totally employee funded.

The company specializes in research, development and productization of next-generation active and passive optical systems, encompassing hardware, software and analysis. Customers include the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, DARPA, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of the Interior, CEROS, NASA, University of Hawaii, and several DoD prime contractors and other commercial companies.

"We have made great progress in developing a customer base for our products which are designed to provide best-value technical solutions to complex military, industrial, medical and environmental problems," Dr. Karins noted. "Our technical competencies are in areas where there is a lot of demand for innovation." The company's projects and programs have application for the military, homeland security, medicine, agriculture, environmental monitoring, and other commercial areas.



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