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LTU's Centrepolis Accelerator launches new program for 'cleantech' businesses

Release Date: March 1, 2021

SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University has launched a new program called the C3 Accelerator for green technology companies working in the cleantech, climatech, and circular economy industries.

The new accelerator, funded in part by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), will offer a total pool of $275,000 in funding including grants, no equity interest-free investments, and services to support product development and scaling of cleantech, climatech, and circular economy technologies. In general, these technologies have a positive impact to energy efficiency, generate renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, replace non-renewable materials, preserve clean water, and promote recycling, upcycling, and the circular economy.

Accelerator services include free or discounted product design, engineering, prototyping, testing, and validation, along with pilot and demonstration project cost sharing, assistance from experts-in-residence, design for manufacturability assessments, and supply chain development support. The Accelerator will also offer assistance in applying for federal grants and connections to universities, national laboratories, customers, strategic partners and investors.

 “EGLE is supporting the C3 Accelerator as it supports our mission on a number of fronts, including development of new manufacturing companies here in the Michigan as well as the launch of cleantech and circular economy products that provide impact to our state’s improved energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives,” said Robert Jackson, assistant division director and energy ombudsman at EGLE. “This is of critical importance to our goals of reducing harmful emissions by 28 percent below 1999 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 as well as tripling our recycling rate to 45 percent recovery rates.”

C3 is a growth stage accelerator focused on proven technologies that need help with customer adoptions for specific applications and scaling. Individual grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000 per client. Equity free, zero-interest $15,000 investments will also be available, with a success fee added if a product achieves market success. Thanks to funding provided by EGLE, NEI and IN2, a portion of these investments will be dedicated to support ventures led by women, people of color, veterans, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. 

“Centrepolis was recently presented with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Channel Partner Award from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator. This was a competitive award and we were impressed with Centrepolis’ proven track record of supporting cleantech ventures led by women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. Their new C3 Accelerator and approach to partnering with other organizations that also support promising groups of underserved cleantech companies is expected to provide exposure and opportunities important to our program’s objectives,” said Trish Cozart, program manager of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator.

The accelerator also plans an annual C3 Accelerator Business Showcase Pitch Event, tentatively planned to begin Aug. 26, allowing companies to present to a large group of potential customers, partners, and investors.

The deadline to apply to become a client of the C3 Accelerator is Monday, May 31. To apply to the program, visit this link: https://www.centrepolisaccelerator.com/Programs/.   An informational webinar is also scheduled for March 16 from noon to 1 p.m. Eastern time. To register, visit this link: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=57mfre4ab&oeidk=a07ehm40u2eb5ef7279.

Clients may be based anywhere in the world, but must agree to set up Michigan operations or have customers or strategic partners in Michigan to qualify for funding. For more information, contact Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator, at 248.721.3192 or dradomski@ltu.edu.

The C3 Accelerator is focused on identify the best in class cleantech, climatech and circular economy technologies, no matter where they reside in the world, and finding pathways for these promising innovations into Michigan to support our state’s goals for reducing emissions, improving energy efficiency and recycling rates,” Radomski said. “We want these companies to come here to Michigan to manufacture their products as well as demonstrate and scale their technologies with local partners.  We are grateful to have the support of EGLE, Wells Fargo, New Economy Initiative and others to support this important program, including the commitment to support cleantech ventures led by women, people of color, veterans and other underrepresented entrepreneurs.”

Funding partners in the accelerator include LTU, the city of Southfield, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize, EGLE, NEI, and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2). Many organizations are supporting this program, specifically to encourage participation of underrepresented entrepreneurs including Bunker Labs, Clean Energy Trust, Michigan Women Forward, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Innovative Energy Business Council, and the Women in Cleantech and Sustainability.

The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is accelerating the growth of Michigan’s cleantech, advanced manufacturing, innovative hardware entrepreneurs and small manufacturers by providing access to funding, experts and key business and product development resources. Visit centrepolisaccelerator.com.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 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 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


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