News Release

UCSD Grad Grabs Venture Funding


December 06, 2006 -- Quanlight, an emerging LED (light-emitting diode) company whose core technology was developed at UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering, has announced a recent series A investment of $1 million from Blackbird Ventures Inc., a private venture funding group in San Diego. Neil Senturia, principal of Blackbird Ventures, has joined the start-up as chief executive officer. Quanlight anticipates closing its Series B round in the spring of 2007.

Quanlight, founded in 2006 by two UCSD researchers who are leading experts on novel material systems and semiconductor lighting, is commercializing a new, patent-pending LED technology supporting the yellow-amber-red (YAR) diode industry. Targeted to the signal, signage, automotive, and theatrical/architectural lighting markets, this new LED chip offers significant advantages in price and performance over existing LED technology and is expected to expand the market by enabling applications not previously economically feasible. The size of the YAR LED market is over $1 billion now and projected to be $2.3 billion by 2010.

“Quanlight has patented novel and new material science that dramatically shifts the red LED market economics. When you can deliver a chip several times brighter, that is truly disruptive science,” said Senturia.

The co-founders, Dr. Vladimir Odnoblyudov and Dr. Charles W. Tu, are both associated with the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD. Quanlight has obtained an exclusive license from UCSD to commercialize the technology. Odnoblyudov, chief technical officer for Quanlight, received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering in 2006 from UCSD. He is a renowned researcher in semiconductor lighting and is expected to keep Quanlight at the leading edge of lighting research. Tu, chief scientist and advisory board member for the company, is associate dean of the Jacobs School and a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He has been recognized worldwide as an expert in new semiconductor materials and devices. 

 Vladimir Odnoblyudov
Vladimir Odnoblyudov, chief technical officer for Quanlight, received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering in 2006 from UCSD.
UCSD’s von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement provided Odnoblyudov with business-oriented education and guidance during his doctoral program and funded some of the research that led to this new yellow-amber-red light-emitting diode technology.

Senturia is a successful entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in founding and managing growth-oriented start-ups. He has previously built and sold three successful high-tech companies to large public companies.

Blackbird Ventures is a private, early-stage investment company founded by Senturia and his wife, Barbara Bry, who are two of San Diego’s most successful serial entrepreneurs. Launched in 2004, Blackbird’s mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies.

This press release was adapted from one written by Beth Walsh of the Clearpoint Agency, Inc.

Media Contacts

Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering