Cambridge NanoTech assets scheduled for auction


Cambridge NanoTech assets scheduled for auction

Dr. Jill Becker

Dr. Jill Becker: Fortune’s Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2012, Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing List, 2009-2012, and one of Mass High Tech’s Women to Watch in 2009.
The assets of Cambridge NanoTech Inc., which claimed to be the leading provider of atomic layer deposition solutions, are scheduled to be auctioned off in December. Cambridge NanoTech makes equipment for performing atomic layer deposition (ALD) – a method of very finely, at a nanoscale level, coating surfaces with a material. The company’s assets and intellectual property are being auctioned on Dec. 14, according to Paul E. Saperstein Co. Auctioneers and Appraisers. Atomic layer deposition intellectual property, patents, trademarks, labs, offices, equipment and fixtures are up for auction and will be sold from the offices of Riemer & Braunstein in Boston.

Details of the auction were included in a blog post by Stephen Gerbsman, managing principal at Gerbsman Partners, the firm retained by Silicon Valley Bank, the senior lender to Cambrdige NanoTech.

It is unclear whether the company is still operational, but the company renewed its incorporation with the state in September. In addition, access to multiple links on the company’s website is denied.

Requests for comment made to the company,  Jill S. Becker, the founder and CEO, Saperstein Co., and Riemer & Braunstein were not returned.

While a company typically files for bankruptcy prior to auctioning off its assets, it is not unusual to begin the process of auctioning assets if the plan is to liquidate the company, according to Ilan Barzilay, a partner in the IP practice group of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Boston.

Companies will sometimes auction off assets in order to have better control over the auctioning off of their assets. “Once they file and are under the jurisdiction of bankruptcy court, there are restrictions,” Barzilay said. “Once you are in bankruptcy court your hands are tied.”
Becker founded Cambridge NanoTech Inc. out of her basement in 2003 just after completing her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Her doctoral thesis was on atomic layer deposition and she said she knew that was what she wanted to base a company on. Within the first three months of starting Cambridge Nanotech, she launched the company’s first product, then developed three more before officially setting up shop.

The 35-person company was one of the fastest growing companies in the area based on its 202.6 percent growth from 2008 to 2011, according to Boston Business Journal research. In 2011 it reported $18.7 million in revenue, up from the $6.1 million it reported in 2008.

In fact, the entrepreneur and single mother of two said she hand-built the first 13 tools for the company.
Becker, who holds 10 patents, has received numerous awards including Fortune’s Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2012, Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing List, 2009-2012, and one of Mass High Tech’s Women to Watch in 2009.

By Patricia Resende

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