Ten teams of entrepreneurs, representing four countries, will work to advance their innovative technologies during the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium’s (M-WERC’s) 2016 fall class of WERCBench Labs.
The program is a 12-week immersive course for entrepreneurs and innovators to refine their ideas and business plans, while having access to top-of-the-line rapid prototyping capabilities and mentorship opportunities to bring their products closer to commercialization. Participants receive $10,000 at the start of the program, and an additional $10,000 upon successful completion of the program.
Groups from around the state collaborate to support and run the program with M-WERC, including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Center for Technology Commercialization, the Commons and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In the fall 2016 program, six startups represent the Milwaukee area, and the remaining four are from outside the U.S. The companies participating the in class include:
- enDrone: developing a high-performance drone for use in crop spraying and dusting
- Half Moon Power: invented a new inverter that will allow homes and businesses to go off central power grids at a much lower cost
- Iconac: helping to solve the information gap with buried infrastructure from water utilities and heating/cooling systems
- Improovment: developing sensors to help manufacturers better analyze work flow
- Navasard Technologies: created PURESINE, a more efficient solar panel for solar energy systems
- Process Machine: developing new technologies for the smart grid, smart building, water and wastewater, smart rail and smart city industries
- SciArt, LLC: created a cloud-based design tool to simplify the design process for engineers
- STEMhero: empowers students and teachers to find solutions to worldwide water and energy issues
- Terraoak: produced a patent-pending stove that reduces smoke emissions and helps generate electricity from heat
- Hydroponics Innovation: working on technology to regulate the atmosphere (heat, lighting, nutrients and humidity) to help crops grow more efficiently