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Defense Contractor Sets Up New Unit in Irvine

Ierus Technologies Inc., a defense contractor based in the key aerospace and military market of Huntsville, Ala., has launched a new spinoff in Irvine.

The company, Nullspace Inc., focuses on “delivering advanced engineering software for electromagnetics applications,” according to a release from the parent company, which counts over 200 employees and supports development of U.S. government technologies ranging from hypersonics to radars.

Nullspace counts initial seed funding of $500,000 and a trio of co-founders, each of whom hold Ph.D.s in electromagnetics and aerospace engineering. The trio also each has more than 10 years of commercial and executive leadership experience, the company said.

“The proprietary solvers for Nullspace EM have been rigorously tested on real-world antenna, microwave, and scattering problems for the last 12 years,” said Jason Keen, CEO of Ierus Technologies and a Nullspace co-founder.

“With this spinoff, we are excited to bring this powerful simulation technology to the commercial market for antenna and radar design applications.”

The company’s initial products include: Nullspace EM—an EM simulation solver designed for solving large optimization problems for defense, aerospace, automotive, and communications applications; and Nullspace ES, described as “the world’s only commercial electrostatic solver for extremely large-scale design and analysis in quantum computing.”

Nullspace’s CEO is Masha Petrova, who counts prior exec roles at MSC Software, Altium LLC, and Ansys Inc. She is an adviser in several technology startups and a board president of Engineers Without Borders, Orange County chapter.

Debut Biotechnology Lands $34M from L’Oréal

Martin Mayhew, VP of Commercialization & Tarita Fazio, Pilot Plant Manager operating Debut’s pilot facility. Photo credit: Billy Economou, BE Studios.

Synthetic biology firm Debut Biotechnology Inc., which was born out of the labs of chemist Gregory Weiss at the University of California, Irvine, in 2019, has $34 million in Series B funding.

The funding round was led by the venture capital arm of the cosmetics firm L’Oréal and will be put to work to develop active ingredients for the beauty market, according to the company, which is now based out of a 26,000-square-foot spot in San Diego.

Debut Technology currently has about 20 employees and is aiming for 60, according to reports. Hires will be split among R&D, manufacturing, and consumer-facing roles, according to co-founder and CEO Joshua Britton, who worked with Weiss as a scientist and research scholar at UCI.

“Debut exists to set a new standard in beauty by developing novel active ingredients that herald a new era with regard to performance, sustainability, scalability and cost,” Britton said in a statement.

The company raised $23 million in Series A funding in 2021. Weiss licensed the technology to Debut and used connections through UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s investor network at the time of the company’s start, according to a UCI report in 2019.

The firm expects to have its first internally developed consumer products on store shelves by the end of this year, according to reports.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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