BOSTON and SOMERVILLE, Mass., April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Access to external feedback early in the development process is critical for building successful innovative products. For large companies, such access is easily obtained; for startup companies, however, industry feedback is hard to come by. To assist entrepreneurs in that effort, Fraunhofer TechBridge (a program of Fraunhofer CSE) and Greentown Labs have teamed up to launch PROPEL, a six-month program for startups to refine their prototypes, obtain customer feedback, and develop their businesses for success in the market.
With the vision of a smarter, interconnected world, PROPEL is seeking complementary innovations in self-powered Wireless Sensor-Actuator Networks that can radically change how we interact with our surroundings. The program, sponsored by Shell GameChanger, is seeking startups that are:
- Creating technologies for distributed sensing and actuation networks;
- Developing prototypes and/or integrated systems for customer validation;
- Looking to develop strategic industry partnerships as a potential go-to-market strategy; and
- Interested and able to relocate to Greentown Labs in Somerville, MA for the duration of the program.
Companies accepted into the competitive program will receive up to $10,000 in non-dilutive funding; focused technical guidance from Fraunhofer TechBridge for prototype development and system integration; expert feedback from PROPEL's network of industry strategic partners and investors; and incubation space and membership at Greentown Labs.
"TechBridge has hosted a variety of startup challenges in the past, but PROPEL is unique in the way it packages the greater Boston innovation ecosystem," said Dr. Johanna Wolfson, TechBridge program lead at Fraunhofer CSE. "The cohort of startups selected for the program will have access to Fraunhofer's technical expertise, Greentown Labs' incubation resources, and the broader network of industry strategic partners, investors, and innovators across the energy arena."
After the application, screening, and selection process, up to five teams will relocate to Greentown Labs in September 2015. Upon arrival, each startup will solidify their development plan to identify key milestones and outcomes for their prototypes and business strategy.
"As the nation's largest cleantech incubator, Greentown Labs is fortunate to house many of the Commonwealth's most technically advanced and industry-changing energy technology startups," said Manvi Goel, director of the strategic partnerships initiative at Greentown Labs. "Many of these companies have successfully engaged with strategic partners and found their interactions to be positive and impactful to their business plan. We look forward to helping the PROPEL startups build similar relationships."
Startups that meet the criteria listed above are encouraged to submit their proposals by May 18, 2015 at www.PROPELprogram.com.
About Fraunhofer TechBridge & Fraunhofer CSE
Fraunhofer TechBridge, a Fraunhofer CSE program, identifies and de-risks promising technologies out of startup communities to solve industry challenges. Fraunhofer CSE is a non-profit applied R&D organization developing clean energy technologies for the benefit of society.
About Greentown Labs
Greentown Labs is a community of bold, passionate entrepreneurs creating game-changing energy technologies that transform the way we live, work, and play. Located in Somerville, MA, Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech incubator in the country, operating a 33,000 sq. ft. facility that enables entrepreneurs to solve today's biggest energy and environmental problems.
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
Chuck Tanowitz or Julia Bucchianeri
SOURCE Fraunhofer TechBridge