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Wed September 4, 2013
Local Solar Startup Aims To Produce Panels Locally
Kramer Winingham has found himself back on NMSU’s campus in graduate school after playing football for the Aggies.
About a year ago, he made a jump into the solar business.
“Probably was August or September of 2012…we decided that solar would work for this and kinda chug along form there.”
His company, 35 Solar, is funded by grants and investors. They raised about $15,000 on a website called Kickstarter alone.
The technology involves new semiconductor materials developed at the Los Alamos National Lab.
One of the keys to pitching the company to investors was securing the intellectual property from the lab for the semiconductors.
“If somebody invests – they want assets…value in these patents.”
That’s particularly true in the technology business.
No stranger to teams, Winingham is one part of the three-man-team that includes an electrical engineer and manufacturing expert.
Football was hard work physically, but this challenge has been different.
I think the difference is…more of a mental game…don’t necessarily need to have lifted weights the last two years.”
He still has to do some of the heavy lifting as the pitchman for his business to investors. He says he’s always asked to define his business.
“We want to make solar panels…we want to be a solar manufacturer and so that’s different…that’s where we think we can have the biggest impact on renewable energy.”
Winingham is also the program manager at the arrowhead center on NMSU’s campus. 35 Solar isn’t the only business getting off the ground there.
Inside the Arrowhead Center are several spaces where people are starting their own businesses. This is one of those spaces where people can get much-needed hands on experience. With the right equipment, you could even make a solar panel right here in this space.
Engineering and Business students have projects running from the planning stage to beginning development.
The Arrowhead Center is open to all NMSU students interested in starting their own business. Students and alumni of less than 5 years can contact The Arrowhead Center to find out details of using the space.