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More than just “space”: the perfect recipe to grow your business

By Posted on June 14, 2016

Jim Saber
Vice President, Business & Technology Development

For many companies, the need for a functional physical space is a critical ingredient to their success. Finding that space can be a challenge, especially if you want something beyond four walls and a roof. That’s where NextEnergy can help.

Many people know NextEnergy for the events we host and the services we provide for our venture clients in the energy and transportation space. If you are reading this, you may have already visited our 2.8-acre Detroit campus. What you might NOT know is that in addition to our 4,500 square foot atrium, 120-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and corporate offices, our 45,000 square foot building also features eight technology labs and co-working space where companies can build, test and demonstrate their technologies.

Location. Location. Location.

NextEnergy is located in Midtown Detroit, just one block west of the QLine, right in the heart of Detroit’s vibrant (and growing) innovation district. You have probably heard of some of our fantastic neighbors, including Wayne State University, TechTown and Henry Ford Hospital. We’re also located right near I-94, I-75 and the Lodge freeways, providing easy access to anywhere in the metro area. And perhaps one of our most coveted features: plenty of secure, free parking!

Unique assets abound

Each of our labs range from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet and feature a variety of amenities to suit your needs. Lab partners can also validate and test new technologies using our living laboratory and technical equipment which include:

  • Microgrid: One of the first in the nation, NextEnergy’s microgrid is capable of mimicking any grid scenario in the world for testing and validating advanced energy and transportation technology solutions.
  • NextEnergy’s smart home: NextEnergy’s smart home is part smart home, part distributed generation and part direct current (DC) that operates as a “living lab” within NextEnergy’s testing and validation platforms and allows industry partners to leverage multiple IoT frameworks and a residential microgrid.
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure: NextEnergy’s multiple electric vehicle charging stations include public charging options and support research, development, and demonstration of next generation infrastructure, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G), V2H and wireless charging.
  • Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS): NextEnergy is testing and demonstrating building energy management systems to help developers understand how to control and integrate with renewables, energy storage, lighting, computing systems, HVAC and more. The NextEnergy Center doubles as a direct current (DC) microgrid allowing developers to test in both alternating current (AC) and DC environments.
  • Solid state lighting and daylighting emulation: NextEnergy hosts a campus-wide demonstration of next generation solid-state lighting, including advanced controls and communications systems.
  • Alternative Fuels Platform: NextEnergy’s Alternative Fuels Platform provides infrastructure to support the fueling and testing of hydrogen and biofuel vehicles, as well as alternative fuel dispensing technologies and storage systems.

The people you’ll meet.

Locating your business at NextEnergy gives you the access, exposure and connections to industry and government that would be hard to find anywhere else. As an epicenter for entrepreneurial activity, over 2600 people come through our doors each year – including executives, tech entrepreneurs, engineers, investors and dignitaries – for networking opportunities, business commercialization training and services, tours, market-driven conferences, and testing and demonstration opportunities.

You’ll also have access to our talented staff. Our forward-thinking industry experts and knowledgeable facilities team will ensure that you are able to leverage all of our available assets to help you commercialize your technology.

Join an impressive group.

NextEnergy offers 18,500 square feet of laboratory space and is currently host to five lab partners who are incubating technology or operating technology-related businesses.

Nextek Power Systems

Nextek Power Systems, NextEnergy’s first lab partner, is a Detroit-based tech company dedicated to providing others with the power to save energy. Their systems leverage high efficiency power converters and smart controls to optimize energy usage while drawing power from renewables, batteries, and the grid. Their technology reduces lighting ROIs and improves control functionality. Learn more here.

Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm Incorporated is the world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. Learn more here.


NextCAT is commercializing a catalyst for biodiesel production. Developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University, the NextCAT solution allows producers to lower their overall production costs by enabling the use of significantly lower cost waste oil and grease feedstocks. NextCAT is currently demonstrating its solution at a first customer installation for a major biodiesel producer. Learn more here.

Heroes’ Alliance

The goal of Heroes’ Alliance is to build a community of resourced and empowered individuals who see and use education as a path to success. High School students enrolled in Heroes’ Alliance’s “Genius Within” program at NextEnergy are currently modifying a gasoline powered vehicle into an electric powered vehicle. These students are learning the fundamentals of electronic and mechanical operations and will compete in a national competition in 2015. Learn more here.

Success stories

We are very proud of our NextEnergy “lab alumni”. Here are just two examples of companies who have found success after incubating here.


ZeroBase was established in 2009 with the vision of making cleaner sources of energy more accessible by those most in need. Their goal is to make choosing, buying, owning, and operating renewable energy systems easier, and more cost effective for programs looking to make a sweeping impact. Hundreds of ZeroBase microgrid and power systems are in use around the world in some of the most austere and remote environments. Learn more here.

Power Panel

Power Panel Inc. was formed in June 2007 to set a new standard for solar power systems dedicated to the built environment. The goal was to provide their clients with a superior system that could provide both basic energy needs that each building has: electricity and hot water. As well as thinking about how to deliver the complete package with monitoring, locally sourced parts for installation, customer service, innovative system design, a unique suite of services, and the latest technological advances in solar technology. Learn more here.

If you are currently seeking a space to grow your business, we would love to talk to you about how you can be our next success story.

To learn more contact Jim Saber at


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