Editor’s note: The products developed by the new companies here will use electrical power, some generated by wind, more efficiently.
NextEnergy, a Detroit-based advanced energy technology accelerator awarded two $10,000 Advanced Energy Innovation Awards at the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest (GLEQ) Entrepreneur Connect 2013 event on June 18 in Lansing. Entrepreneur Connect, now it its 13th year, is an annual statewide business plan competition awards event for technology ventures.
NextEnergy presented the awards to two Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan spin-offs, Inmatech and Arborlight. Both awards were presented by Dan Radomski, vice president, industry & venture development, NextEnergy.
“We are very encouraged about the level of innovation and entrepreneurship we are seeing in Michigan’s advanced energy technology sector,” said Radomski. “Through outreach conducted by our venture team, this year’s business plan pool resulted in 27 submissions that were by far the best we have seen in both quantity and quality.” The Inmatech award was received by Ryan Wiltshire, business development officer. The company is developing a 12V hybrid energy storage device to significantly increase the lifespan of batteries under aggressive loads imposed by start-stop operation of passenger vehicles.
“Funding from NextEnergy, along with backing from groups like GLEQ and the Office of Technology Transfer, are vital to the development of start-ups like Inmatech,” said Wiltshire.
Adds Saemin Choi, chief technology officer, Inmatech, “The recognition associated with these awards will not only help accelerate our development, but attract strategic partnerships as we move forward.”
The Arborlight award was received by Michael Forbis, CEO. Arborlight’s LED-based Solis delivers daylight in a form factor that looks, acts and feels just like a real skylight, with a spectrum of varying color and intensity throughout the day for spaces that cannot access daylight.
When asked what the award will mean for his business, Forbis explained, “The GLEQ enabled Arborlight to refine critical elements of its business model with an experienced coach. Our award will be allocated to producing beta models and fulfilling current customer demand.”
“Both of the winning companies are developing unique technology in innovation white spaces identified by NextEnergy’s research,” said Radomski. “They also have strong market potential and impressive management teams. NextEnergy will be in a good position to support their commercialization efforts with product demonstration support, and approach to market assistance helping them grow their business and create jobs right here in Michigan.”
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