Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.: WERCBench labs seeks builders, makers, entrepreneurs

Contact: Joshua Morby, 414-791-9120


WEDC awards grant for new M-WERC immersive program for technology innovators

Milwaukee – Led by an experienced team and more than 60 world-class mentors, up to 15 start-ups including teams and individuals from a variety of funding stages will participate in a unique program this summer to build products and scale up their businesses.

This new immersive program from the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) will offer a unique opportunity for start-ups to interact directly with highly experienced and technical mentors. They will also have unparalleled access to high performance computing, rapid prototyping and small-scale production equipment.

“Participants in this program will also have access to both the corporate and academic members of M-WERC,” said M-WERC Executive Director and CEO Alan Perlstein. This includes more than 80 of the nation’s top research and technical colleges, universities, and corporations directly involved in the energy, power and control sectors.

The program will take place June 8 to August 27 at the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center, located in Century City Tower, once home to Eaton Corporation’s world-renowned testing and production facility.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supporting the program with a $350,000 grant through its Seed Accelerator Program. WEDC also has provided more than $850,000 in funding for the Energy Innovation Center since its inception.

“WERCBench Labs is a great example of how M-WERC will utilize the Energy Innovation Center as it continues to play a leadership role in the continued growth of Wisconsin’s energy, power and control sector,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “This program will spur innovation by providing entrepreneurs with the kind of environment needed to develop new ideas as well as an opportunity to work side by side with their peers and experienced mentors in the energy industry.”

“Having worked with a number of start-ups and accelerators around the world, the combination of Steve Blank’s lean start-up curriculum, as well as the team of engineers and technical professionals serving as mentors, truly differentiates WERCBench Labs,” said WERCBench Labs Managing Director Greg Meier. “Our goal is to attract inventors to come to Milwaukee this summer to jump-start innovative technologies, transition prototype products to the commercial stage and nurture startup companies.”

Meier earned his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is co-founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Collective (a member of the Global Accelerator Network). He serves on the boards of the Milwaukee Institute and Startup Milwaukee, the Bradley Tech Computer Science Advisory Board, the MATC Simulation and Gaming Advisory Board, and the Advisory Board for the UW-Whitewater Entrepreneurship Major.

Applications from start-up teams are due by May 29, and will be accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more visit wercbench.com.