SOUTHFIELD—Lawrence Technological University’s Centrepolis Accelerator has received a $125,000 grant from the Kirkland, Wash.-based Breakthrough Energy Foundation for general operating support.
The Centrepolis Accelerator is unusual among business accelerators in that it concentrates on companies manufacturing physical products, rather than services or software. It works with both startups and established small businesses. Several of its efforts focus on growing so-called “C3” businesses—cleantech, climatech, and circular-economy businesses—companies that produce products that encourage energy and emissions reduction as well as recycling and sustainable materials use.
Breakthrough Energy is the umbrella name of several organizations, founded by Bill Gates in 2015, that aim to accelerate innovation in sustainable energy and in other technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the foundation, a venture capital arm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and an early stage technology development program, Breakthrough Energy Fellows.
Breakthrough Energy’s investments have included companies researching nuclear fusion power generation, and technologies that extract drinking water from air, boost crop yields without nitrogen-based fertilizers, reduce the huge carbon footprint of the concrete industry, improve the efficiency of geothermal energy sites, and develop microbe-produced biofuels.
“We are happy and proud to accept the support of Breakthrough Energy Foundation, an organization that is at the forefront of the energy technologies of the future, technologies that will help us achieve a carbon-neutral economy,” said Dan Radomski, CEO of the Centrepolis Accelerator.
The Centrepolis Accelerator, housed in Lawrence Technological University’s Enterprise Center in Southfield, is 6,300 square feet of business assistance for physical product developers and manufacturing companies, a unique niche among accelerators in Michigan. Since launching in August 2018, Centrepolis has supported the launch of several physical products made in Michigan as well as 366 client contracts with Michigan manufacturers valued at over $24 million. Clients include climatech, manufacturing startups, and existing companies looking to move up to the next level in product innovation. Services include product design, engineering, and prototyping, as well as business planning services, office space, co-working space, workshops, mentors and events.
For more information, contact Southfield Business Development at (248) 796-4120 or visit www.centrepolisaccelerator.com.
Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through 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 alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. 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 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.