Wayne Snyder

By Wayne Snyder,
Director, Technology Development

While entrepreneurship carries a significant risk, it can also provide many rewards. Entrepreneurship can introduce novel products or services to the market that change the way we live, work and play. It can catalyze job creation and spur economic growth. And it can foster community development by investing in local businesses. However, entrepreneurship has its challenges. For example, early stage commercialization teams from universities and small businesses must exercise resourcefulness to optimize their finite list of assets and funding. If they don’t, these teams often face crushing barriers that halt their great idea or technology before it can even be deployed.

To help entrepreneurs overcome these barriers, federal agencies — such as the U.S. Department of Energy — regularly announce funding opportunities; however, many do not pursue these options. This is often due to cost share, a required contribution toward a project’s total value, such as equipment, digital hardware and software, labor, materials and services. Federal funding can require between 20% and 50% for cost share. And for many entrepreneurs with limited assets, this is an insurmountable challenge.

In 2015, NextEnergy partnered with the State of Michigan to develop and execute the Michigan Accelerating Technologies in Energy grant program to address these financial challenges. With additional funding support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the MATch program supported Michigan companies in commercializing competitive-edge technologies, building successful businesses with the potential for high-growth job retention and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship. This was an effort to drive commercialization outcomes, spur federal research and development investments in Michigan, help startup and university proposals remain competitive and assist with prohibitive cost-share requirements.

NextEnergy managed the grant funding for the program, contracting with federally awarded university teams and small businesses to outline the structure of grant work to be reimbursed. As fiduciary of the grant, NextEnergy disbursed payments for completed milestones and commercialization activities aligned with MATch goals and objectives. It also educated the advanced energy and transportation ecosystem in Michigan about federal funding opportunities, supported high-potential clients with pre-award technical and business merit review of proposals, introduced applicants to potential project partners and increased visibility and exposure between federal departments and state organizations.

MATch provided federal funding consulting and advisory support to 216 unique companies and university research teams, awarding more than $960,000 in grants. This resulted in more than $32.8 million in federal investment and $31.5 million in nonfederal investment.

Though the MATch program has ended, the State of Michigan continues to support entrepreneurs with other programs and services. For example, this interactive map of Michigan SmartZone hubs shows what resources are available to assist entrepreneurs in their endeavors. NextEnergy is across the street from one such SmartZone — TechTown — which is nestled in Detroit and serves as an incubator and accelerator for technology and business advancement. Additionally, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s entrepreneurial support webpage offers information about services, funding and news to give your team a competitive edge. For further assistance with these resources, please email Nadia Abunasser, the MEDC’s federal and development projects director, at abunassern@michigan.org.

If you would like to learn more about NextEnergy’s experience with federal funding programs, please contact Wayne Snyder, NextEnergy’s director of technology and development, at waynes@nextenergy.org.

Connect with me on LinkedIn
Twitter: @waynedsnyder

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Abuanthony A Alim says:

    Alim innovations
    Harnessing Ur wasted energy, turning into money & expanding Ur opportunities

    Abu Alim here, I want to partner for demonstrations. We all know this must change, what to is where I come in.

    Describe what you will use the money for:
    I have 6 employees and need two more right now, we have electric generator charging stations for all vehicles. We are in UL. LLC, getting electric examination and certification of some of our charging systems. We also are developing physical prototypes. These electric charging stations are mobile and go with the vehicles, onboard vehicle electric charging stations will replace landlocked in position charging. We have systems for all vehicles. We want to manufacture here. All these systems have to change and we know what, how, and why.
    What unique things would separate you from other applicants applying for this money?
    Alim Innovations, we only use proven technology, we start with working systems then we improve the working systems environment. We remove any friction or hindrance from the system performance. My competitors are trying to compete with me, with a closed energy system. Their vehicles are closed to any other form of energy and that is why they always need more energy or gas. They only know one energy system so they invent things tied to that system. Three energy systems, closed energy, open energy & isolated energy. So it’s not energy, energy is not good or bad, just misunderstood. I will introduce the Open energy system with my products, I can fix the closed energy system. Vehicles just need a way to harness wasted energy. Have you ever seen something that wasted more energy than it used? Our vehicles are using 80% of its energy not to explode and to keep cool. All these energies and their different forms must be used in harmony. If energy is used right in all of its different forms, you don’t have to look for it. Help me stop you from looking for energy.
    Let’s talk. 386-290-1298 text good time to talk.

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