SOUTHFIELD—The C3 Accelerator, a program of the Centrepolis Accelerator manufacturing business incubator established by Lawrence Technological University and the City of Southfield, brought together the companies supported through the program in a C3 Accelerator Showcase event Thursday, Aug. 26.
The event speakers provided the latest details on the changing landscape of cleantech innovation and funding opportunities. Speakers included Centrepolis Accelerator Executive Director Dan Radomski; keynote speaker Marcos Gonzales Harsha, Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions; and a panel discussion featuring Robert Jackson of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; Erik Birkerts of the Clean Energy Trust; Ryan Waddington of Huron River Ventures; and Husaninder Singh of DTE Energy.
Keynoter Gonzales Harsha called Michigan “a hotbed of innovation and opportunity” in cleantech and climatech and provided detailed information on how the DoE is ready to help with market analysis and research. He added that the reality of climate change makes these industries crucial. “It’s a pretty scary time, and there is a public that needs to be served,” he said.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, ten C3 Accelerator companies made product presentations.
* Celcius – chemical-free product formulations by infusing de-ionized water with oxygen ions
* Change Plastic for Good – a biodegradable plastics maker
* Daika Wood – a developer of novel processes for recycling wood
* Global Battery Solutions – developers of a battery cell monitoring device
* Lilypad Labs – developers of a solar-powered boat
* Intecells – developers of a unique process for manufacturing battery cells at very low cost
* Meknology – developers of novel systems for water treatment
* Rhombus Energy Solutions – developers of EV charging, power conversion and energy management systems
* Solartonic – developers of solar-powered street lights with integrated security and wireless
* X3 Energy – developers of portable power microgrid and heating element systems for tail lights, solar panels and lidar.
“The C3 Accelerator Showcase was an opportunity to share our clients with the world,” Radomski said. “Ten hardware-based companies with breakthrough cleantech, climatech and circular economy innovations that are enabling a more sustainable future. Ten companies that are developing, implementing and manufacturing their products right here in Michigan. It is imperative that we celebrate companies like these that are positively impacting our environment as well as providing an economic impact to our local manufacturing community.”
Of the 10 companies that pitched, six companies went home with awards. The C3 Accelerator announced its first investments in four companies worth up to $60,000: Celcius, Global Battery Solutions, Intecells and Lilypad Labs. Solartonic took home the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, a Detroit law firm. Meknology took the Inclusion award sponsored by the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2).
A YouTube video of the entire event is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0hKExKb13w.
C3 Accelerator is a growth-stage accelerator with up to $1.6 million in funding available in grants, investments and services to support product development and growth of technologies in the cleantech, climatech and circular economy industries.
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is funded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE); the New Economy Initiative (NEI); the Wells Fargo NREL Innovation Incubator (IN2); the Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions’ EPIC Prize program; the City of Southfield; Lawrence Technological University; the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC); and the William Davidson Foundation. The C3 Accelerator is also supported by many strategic partners including Advancing Women in Energy; Bunker Labs; Clean Energy Trust; Michigan Women Forward; Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council; Women in Cleantech & Sustainability; the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA); Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC); Resource Recycling Systems (RRS); Start-Up Nation Central; and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 100 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.