By BRIAN TOLL
Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator (MEIA)’s Energy-Executive-in-Residence program is ideal for entrepreneurs, current or retired executives, or people who want to explore the routine & lifestyle of being a co-Founder or Board Member of a clean energy technology company. EEIR’s can work on the Startup Team, or become mentors to Startup Teams.
“There is no easy way for a functional business person to become a founder of a hard science technology company,” said Brian Toll, Director of MEIA. “Most hard science firms are started by engineers, with functional people coming on board years later as employees, not Founders. MEIA’s program moves business planning and product roadmap activities ahead of business formation and offers opportunities for functional experts to become co-Founders of hard science businesses.”
EEIRs should demonstrate a combination of functional experience (expertise in business strategy, financial modeling, marketing, sales, development, and operations are all valuable to our Startups), passion for innovation and discovery (it will take persistence and elbow grease to move these Startups forward), and a desire to make the world a better place (after all, we are trying to save the planet!).
Cohort 1, which launches in January 2020, and finishes in June 2020, is taking shape. Here is a preview for some of the technologies that will be worked by our Startup Teams to determine if a new business should be created and what that business will do:
- Self-Powered Sensor for Wind Turbines to Enhance Wind Turbine Performance – A novel piezoelectric powered sensor for wind turbines to decrease O&M costs for wind turbines.
- Non-flammable Battery that Operates at Extreme Temperatures – A non-flammable, rechargeable Li-ion battery that operates in extreme temperatures (between -80 and 100 degrees Celsius) even after cutting and exposure to air and water.
- Membrane and Catalyst Technologies for Methane Upgrading to Mitigate Natural Gas Flaring – A method of converting methane to other valued-added materials, such as C2 hydrocarbons and higher hydrocarbons through a single-step conversion reactor.
- Tidal Turbine Variable Transmission for Electricity Generation – A novel infinitely variable transmission that converts irregular low speed tidal motion to a constant energy output via an induction generator.
In order for you to become part of a Startup Team, the process involves 1) Applying to become an EEIR where you will be interviewed by MEIA staff; and 2) Accepted candidates can then apply to a job opening on a specific Startup Team where you will be interviewed by the Startup Team Leader. You would then be offered a position on the Startup Team, and work through the MEIA curriculum and milestones over a six month period.
EEIRs should be available about 5 hours per week on average. The program culminates with a pitch event where each business receives feedback from potential investors that can inform the group’s decision of whether to start the business (Go/No-Go Decision).
Perhaps you are wondering if entrepreneurship is right for you. MEIA’s part time EEIR role offers a risk-free way for you to experience the Lean Startup Methodology while providing your valuable expertise to a fledgling technology company. Are you ready to help save the world? Apply now.
***EEIR APPLICATION DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 16, 2019***