Lightweight Structures, LLC in Hartland recently signed a licensing agreement with Milwaukee-based Nature Tech "An Engineered Green Building Systems Company,” to manufacture and distribute Lightweight Structures’ framing systems in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“Nature Tech saw our product and thought it was a good investment to make,” says Lightweight Structures founder and owner James Jendusa. “Manufacturing has been a barrier for us. Now that we have this licensing agreement, the manufacturing will be in place in about a year, if not sooner.”
Jendusa formed Lightweight Structures in 2005 around his innovative composite framing system which uses light gage steel, insulation and concrete for floor decking and wall framing that can cut construction costs by as much as 15%. It also reduces construction time and is made from recycled materials, with additional energy savings from super insulated wall panels.
Assistance and recognition
As Jendusa takes his company to new heights, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) is pleased to have been there along the way. WEN regional director David Linz helped Jendusa early on to develop his marketing strategy. With Linz’s help, Jendusa secured an Early Planning Grant, administered by WEN, and ultimately placed as a finalist in the 2009 Governor’s Business Plan Contest.
Last year Lightweight Structures took first place in the 2011 North Central Cleantech Open, and in April Jendusa traveled to New York for his latest honor, the Edison Silver Award for best new innovative product. “These awards give validation to the concept and to our product,” says Jendusa.
Last year Linz worked with Jendusa on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal to the Department of Defense. Though unsuccessful in securing SBIR funding, Jendusa developed key relationships with UW Milwaukee, UW Platteville and others throughout the process. “Those are good relationships to have and without that SBIR application, I never would have been introduced to them.”
“It’s nice to have someone like Dave that I can pick up the phone and call,” adds Jendusa. “He is very knowledgeable with the SBIR program, or when I have questions about potential new strategic partnerships or investors.”
With the licensing agreement in place and more than $650,000 investment dollars secured, Lightweight Structures now focuses on certification and patent work. “It is actually a very exciting time for the company because once all the certification work is done and we have the manufacturing in place, we are really going to be able to sell a lot of our products in green building projects. There is a huge market potential.”
For more information on this successful Wisconsin company go to http://www.lwstructures.com/