The Midwest Energy Research Consortium (MWERC) has announced the startups chosen to participate in the 2019-2020 cohort of its WERCBench Labs Accelerator Program. Focusing on startup companies in the energy, power and control sector, the accelerator offers connections to top engineers and researchers, advice from seasoned professionals and access to fabrication and testing labs.

During the 16-week program, entrepreneurs work with business professionals and mentors to develop their business model and perfect their investment pitches to investors. They also have access to laboratory and testing space, including the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Rapid Prototyping Center.

Since 2015, 30 startups have graduated from the WERCBench Labs program. Participating companies receive up to $40,000 in a grant and financing supported by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The program culminates with a “Demo Day” featuring a top prize of $10,000.

This year’s diverse cohort of entrepreneurs includes:

  • Accelerate Wind LLC (Erika Boeing and Scott Mueller): a commercial rooftop wind installation with patented drive train
  • Agricycle (Claire Friona): solar dehydrators for fruit and other foods
  • CLOCworks (Joe Bonniewell): machine learning software to manage building profiles for HVAC systems
  • Elektrifi (Ashray Manur): disaster relief tech platform to manage grids in homes and buildings
  • Mesodyne (Veronika Stelmach): ultra-high energy density, multi-fuel, silent, compact power generator
  • Omega Grid (Killian Tobin): financial market software system that determines the most efficient mix of generation and loads on the grid
  • Steam Energy Labs (Ellad Wallach): smart thermostats for use moderating hot water heaters for storage