M-WERC captures $50,000 SBA grant

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:22 am

M-WERC (Midwest Energy Research Consortium) has won a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration through its second annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

The contest targeted accelerators, incubators, coworking startup spaces and other models and aimed to advance the work of accelerators, particularly those located in cities that have limited access to venture capital and investors. About $4 million was distributed through this year’s fund competition.

Grant dollars allocated to M-WERC will support operations of its WERCBench Accelerator, facilitated at the Energy Innovation Center in Milwaukee. Through its WERCBench Labs program, M-WERC gives selected startups mentoring opportunities and resources to help transform their ideas into viable businesses.

“This is great news not only for M-WERC and our more than 80 member companies,” Alan Perlstein, M-WERC executive director and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “It’s great news for our region and the companies working in the energy power and control sector.”

M-WERC won the national grant through an application process and was one of 80 grant recipients total. Applications were reviewed by more than 40 thought leaders in entrepreneurship, investments, startups, economic development, capital formation and academia. The first round of judging whittled more than 400 entries down to 180 finalists.

Along with working to reach accelerators in regions starved for capital, the 2015 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition sought to help accelerators comprised of underrepresented groups and accelerators with an emphasis on manufacturing.

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