Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

Third class of WERCBench Labs announced

Start-ups will receive funding and access to world-class mentors

By - Aug 24th, 2017 03:44 pm

Milwaukee–Seven start-up companies with technologies ranging from nanogenerators used to charge low-power electronics – to solar power generation, were selected to participate in WERCBench Labs’ third annual Early Stage Startup program this fall. The project of the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) is partially funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

“Our third group of start-up companies and cutting-edge technologies is a great complement to dozens of startups that have gone through our program since we launched WERCBench Labs,” said Jacquin Davidson, Managing Director WERCBench Labs. Davidson will lead and coordinate efforts in the program, with Jeff Anthony Chief Operating Office at M-WERC. The program starts Tuesday, August 29 and runs for 12 weeks, concluding with the Demo Day presentations from each team on December 14.

WERCBench Labs

WERCBench Labs

Thanks to the support of the State of Wisconsin through WEDC, each team will receive a $10,000 grant at the beginning of the program. Teams that meet all program expectations and graduate at the end of the program will receive an additional $10,000 in the form of an investment, using a royalty-based financing mechanism.

”WERCBench Labs surrounds entrepreneurs with the resources and connections they need to test their ideas and grow their businesses,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC VP of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “It’s a valuable initiative in bringing innovative technologies to the global marketplace.”

For the second year in a row WERCBench Labs will partner with The Center for Technology Commercialization, The Commons and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee to offer the program jointly with those organizations. Participants in the program will also have access to M-WERC’s network of more than 90 world-class mentors.

Teams selected for this year’s program include:

Switched Source – East Lansing, MI

Switched Source provides power-electronics solutions for electric distribution companies that make the grid more resilient and efficient, while supporting the integration of more distributed generation.

EW Panel – Madison

EWPanel’s patent-pending nanogenerators convert movements to electricity, which can be used to charge low-power electronics such as Bluetooth units, sensors and LED lights. The nanogenerators are flexible in design and can be incorporated into a variety of devices to allow for self-contained power generation and smart sensing.

NovoMoto – Madison
NovoMoto provides clean electricity for off-grid rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. NovoMoto’s stand-alone solar-powered systems are cheaper, more efficient and cleaner than the kerosene and diesel currently used in these communities.

Indiana Integrated Circuits – South Bend, IN

 Indiana Integrated Circuits (IIC) develops and licenses advanced microelectronics technology that improves performance, cost and form-factor across a variety of electronic systems. Applications for IIC’s proprietary “Quilt Packaging” interconnect technology includes markets such as power & control, defense & aerospace and networking/communications.

Global Green Products – Palos Heights, IL

 Global Green Products LLC (GGP) manufactures and markets eco-friendly polymer products used to help customers conserve water, extend equipment usefulness, reduce energy loss and improve productivity.  Specifically, GGP products keep minerals dissolved in water from forming hard scales while minimizing corrosion and pitting on heat transfer surfaces and equipment used in power plant cooling water and boiler water systems.

ARIS Technologies – Chicago, IL 

 ARIS Technologies is working on an artificial intelligence (AI) platform to eradicating reduce human quality control errors in manufacturing.

 KW Technologies – Milwaukee

 KW Technologies is making high power industrial power supplies with Silicon carbide (SiC) technology.

“We’ve assembled an impressive group of entrepreneurs and technology innovators to work with our world-class line-up of mentors and M-WERC members,” said Anthony.

WERCBench Labs is housed within the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center, which hosts an ever-growing collection of state-of-the-art testing, prototyping and small-scale production equipment. Program participants also have unparalleled opportunities and access to the leading companies in the world on energy, power and controls technology enabled by the M-WERC regional cluster of business and academic institutions.

M-WERC’s members include representatives from more than 90 of the nation’s top research and technical colleges, universities and corporations directly involved in the energy, power and control sectors.

About the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium

M-WERC was founded in 2009 by three universities and four industrial companies to focus on conducting collaborative and transformative energy related seed research. It has grown to more than 80 members with an annual budget of more than $1 million. Today M-WERC is dedicated to making the Midwest region the leader in energy power and controls. Visit M-WERC.org or follow M-WERC on Twitter @MWERC to learn more.

About WERCBench Labs

Founded as a program of the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) in 2015, WERCBench Labs is a 12-week immersive program for technology innovators. The program supports participating start-up teams with mentors, business modeling, marketing, legal advice and funding. Teams leading this year’s program hail from The Commons, UW-Milwaukee, Center for Technology Commercialization. For more information visit us online at WERCBenchlabs.com.

About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @InWisconsin to learn more.

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