Mid-West Energy Research Consortium: Start-up businesses announced for WERCBench Labs accelerator

Contact: Joshua Morby
414.791.9120
jmorby@m-werc.org

MILWAUKEE – Officials from the Wisconsin’s Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the city of Milwaukee and UW-Milwaukee all participated in the Midwest Energy Research Consortium’s
(M-WERC) event to celebrate the expansion of the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center. More than 150 participants toured the new space and learned more about M-WERC’s strategic initiatives.

Participants were also able to visit with members of the businesses chosen for the fourth annual fall class of WERCBench Labs, once again lead by serial entrepreneur Jacquin Davidson and M-WERC COO Jeff Anthony.

“WERCBench Labs has built a reputation as one of the region’s top accelerator programs for entrepreneurs to test their ideas and grow their businesses,” said M-WERC Executive Director and CEO Alan Perlstein. “This valuable program connects future companies with mentors to grow the region.”

The WERCBench Labs Accelerator is housed within M-WERC’s brand news 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.

This program of the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) is partially funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Each business will receive a $20,000 grant and at the end of the program, an additional $20,000 in the form of an investment, using a royalty-based financing mechanism.

Businesses selected for this year’s program include:

Advanced Ionics – Chad Mason, Westmont, Ill.
Advanced Ionics is a Midwest-based company developing new electrochemical energy technologies.  These will enhance our country’s economy and security while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.  Advanced Ionics is currently focused on a product for very low cost hydrogen production using electrolysis.

Blue Line Battery – Dustin Herte, Whitewater Wis.
Blue Line Battery engineers and manufactures state-of-the-art industrial lithium ion battery systems for motive power and stationary energy storage.

ClearFlame Engines – B.J. Johnson & Julie Blumreiter, Woodridge, Ill.
ClearFlame Engines is commercializing a Stanford technology that enables alternative fuels to be utilized in a high-efficiency and low emission Diesel engine configuration, enabling a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions without loss of performance. This technology easily integrates into existing engine designs, and has the ability to displace Diesel-fueled technologies by providing a cleaner and lower cost solution, especially in applications/geographies where electrification is more challenging. ClearFlame has secured over $1M in competitive, non-dilutive funding for their work, and has cultivated grant partnerships with leading industry OEMs to support their R&D.

CyberPowered Home – Will Blanchard, Madison
CyberPowered Home has developed a patent pending smart breaker box solution that benefits both homeowners and utilities by automatically sensing, interpreting, and acting on electrical use information. Homeowners can save an estimated 23 percent on energy bills while enjoying a more responsive and convenient smart home. Utilities can also benefit from demand smoothing, event response, and prediction to significantly streamline their operational costs and complexity.

Deeplight Systems– Samuel Aten, Bob Desaunoi & Kyle Puckhaber, Waterford, Wis.
Deeplight Systems is a cybersecurity startup that provides organizations with proactive cyber vigilance within their internet of things. With a user-friendly approach, Deeplight Systems’ SaaS tool empowers its users with the ability to discover the root cause of connected device vulnerabilities and understand which solutions they need to prevent their exploitation. Delivering confidence, reputation, and peace of mind

Present Power Systems – Jason Katcha & Ezana Mekonnen, Whitefish Bay, Wis.
Present Power Systems (PPS) is developing a new class of extremely compact power electronics for the solar, energy storage, medical and automotive industries. We exclusively use new Silicon-Carbide switching devices coupled with advanced high-frequency magnetics and high-bandwidth digital controls to achieve size reduction versus existing products. PPS has pioneered the use of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) digital control for high-frequency switching power electronics. The method provides very high bandwidth control allowing PPS to take full advantage of the new Silicon Carbide switching devices, for > 10X reduced size and > 4X increased efficiency.

Radiant Panel Technologies – Harry Giovanni, Cheyenne, Wyo.
Radiant Panel Technologies (RPT) markets new and proprietary radiant panel products and adapts them to applications in the North American market.  These panelized heating products may be integrated into a variety of product applications. All RPT Graphene products have a common invention and production connections that consist of proprietary Graphene conduction ink that is then bonded to a variety of surfaces for a myriad of applications.

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