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April 30, 2018

CEI Ventures closes $500K investment in Biddeford startup

CEI Ventures Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of CEI that has made over $28 million in direct investments in 55 companies since its founding in 1994, announced today that it has closed on a $500,000 minority investment in a Biddeford startup.

Junora Ltd. makes advanced metallurgical products for the global vacuum coating industry. The company has 12 employees and is in the design-and-build phase of making its own unique manufacturing equipment as well as developing a specialized energy source for its manufacturing process, according to a news release from CEI Ventures.

CEI Ventures stated its equity investment will help Junora founder Dean Plaisted accelerate Junora's efforts this year in "bringing new technology and solutions in rotary sputtering, a process used by the vacuum coating industry."

Plaisted has three decades of experience working in the field and had worked with CEI Ventures and CEI when he was CEO of another company.

"We look forward to another fruitful and rewarding relationship," said Nat Henshaw, president of CEI Ventures. "Dean is the kind of socially minded serial entrepreneur we love to partner with."

Henshaw noted that Plaisted has a strong track record of creating good jobs through establishing apprenticeships, career ladders and strong benefits in the machining/fabrication profession — adding that Junora will use CEI's Workforce Solutions group to help with training and recruitment for staffing skilled positions.

"I am delighted to be back in the thin films industry working with old friends CEI and CEI Ventures," Plaisted said in the press release. "We are ambitious and optimistic for this new venture. Equity capital is critical to a fast-growing business."

Plaisted served on the board of CEI Ventures for three years, until February, according to his LinkedIn profile.

On his LinkedIn profile, Plaisted stated: "I resigned from the board due to a potential conflicts of interest relating to a possible future investment by CVI. I will miss being on the board of such a fine company with such great board members."

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