2018 Washington Manufacturing Awards, Emerging Manufacturer (Small Firms)

Gold: Nortis Inc., Woodinville; Silver: Diversified Manufacturing Technologies, Mount Vernon

TESTING: Thomas Neumann is president and CEO of Nortis Inc.

This article appears in the May 2018 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Nortis Inc., Woodinville

Biotech isn’t simply about discovering new treatments and medicines. It’s also about producing the tools that enable those discoveries. Nortis makes what it calls a “microfluidic organ on a chip” — microscopic platforms to enable the growth of human tissue for drug-development testing.

Nortis’ system offers an easy-to-use alternative to animal testing; the company believes its technology, developed by former University of Washington faculty members, will reduce barriers to finding drugs and vaccines to tackle cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease and stroke. From the launch of its first commercial product in 2015, annual revenue has accelerated to $829,000 in 2017. Nortis can produce 800 of its chips in a month. What’s ahead: more fundraising, more chip models and increased production capacity.


Diversified Manufacturing Technologies, Mount Vernon

Facing the loss of their jobs when their machine-shop employer decided to close, Seth Tromburg and Tybalt Quale solved the problem by starting their own company in 2010. Diversified Manufacturing has grown from a two-man operation renting space in the corner of someone else’s shop to its own building, a handful of employees and better than 25 percent annual growth in revenue by taking on what it calls “demanding projects in short time frames.”

The company’s ambitions include building its presence in the Tier 1 aerospace and spaceflight markets, and moving into five-axis machining to be able to handle even more complex assignments.

See the full list of winners from the 2018 Washington Manufacturing Awards here.

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