GSBDC Provides Financing for Aquarii, Inc.

Posted 03.03.14

Loan: Quasi-Equity Fund

Aquarii, Inc. (AI) was established in 2012 as a distributor/reseller of LED lighting fixtures as well as a developer and manufacturer of their own brand of LED lights and related lighting control products.  They provide LED light fixtures that are cost effective, energy efficient and require minimal maintenance.

AI owners include Raymond Carrock, president; and vice presidents Thomas Trytek, P.E., Jason Kantak, P.E., and Joseph Durand, P.E. who each have extensive experience in their fields and a history of working together to solve lighting challenges.  AI was founded because the principals identified a significant gap in service when LED lighting manufacturers or vendors often incorrectly provided lighting to a customer simply to make a sale, even if the fixture was not properly specified.   Given that three of the principals are engineers, one of AI’s strengths is to provide “engineered solutions” for lighting needs, particularly within the Central NY region.  They assess and analyze the lighting need and then design the most appropriate lighting system to address the need. AI can also assist in finding any rebates and incentives offered in the area.  For locations outside of the state, AI has established a network of national sales representatives who handle the sale and distribution of Aquarii brand products.

AI offers a variety of products from general office fixtures to specialty units for the theatrical and entertainment industries.  Through their agreements with several US and international companies, they provide an extensive range of interior and exterior LED fixture and control products for both new and replacement (“retrofit”) applications.

They recently completed development and testing of their first OEM product called the Axceleron. This is a down light that has been designed specifically for use in medium to high ceiling areas and will typically be installed at airports, train stations, garages, grocery stores, schools, universities and hospitals. They’ve also developed accessories to their products including: slope adapter kits, recessed kits, flush kits and control kits with very sensitive dimming capabilities.

Design work is currently underway for three new products which will all use similar technologies that are found on the Axceleron.  To assist with the costs of developing their next products and to support their working capital needs for production, inventory and marketing, the Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation (GSBDC) in partnership with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) and Central New York Enterprise Development Fund (CNYEDF) provided $300,000 in working capital from their Quasi-Equity Loan Fund.  According to Ray Carrock, “We are extremely grateful to our local banking and financing partners that have helped us get our business up and running.  It is our intent to work with as many local businesses as possible throughout our company evolution”

This subordinate financing was in addition to the traditional financing support provided from NBT Bank who provided a $250,000 line of credit.  Robert Vertucci, Vice President, Commercial Banking at NBT Bank commented, “It is truly a great partnership when we can combine traditional financing with other capital programs through local economic development agencies like GSBDC to assist companies such as Aquarii to grow their business and create new jobs in central New York.”

AI is currently leasing over 2000 sq. ft.  at 17 Genesee St., Camillus employing five full-time and three part-time employees.  Within three years, they plan to have 20 employees and their own manufacturing facility with the majority of the new positions being for production.