Pewaukee-based window glass-maker V-Glass is one of seven Wisconsin companies chosen to receive up to $75,000 through a state matching grant program to commercialize their innovations.
V-Glass makes vacuum-insulated glass that is highly energy efficient.
The grants come from a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the University of Wisconsin-Extension's Center for Technology Commercialization called the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advance program.
The program provides assistance to companies that are completing a project through the federal SBIR or Small Business technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The federal government gives out $2.5 billion annually to companies in SBIR and STTR programs to fund federal research. However, that money cannot be used to commercialize the innovations discovered through the research it funds.
Since the SBIR Advance program was formed in 2014 to bridge the gap and give companies enough money to put their innovations on the market. Since it was formed, the program has awarded more than $3.6 million to 37 companies throughout Wisconsin.
"We often see companies receiving SBIR grants that have made great progress on the technical side but have critical business development milestones they simply don’t have a way to fund,” said Aaron Hagar, vice president of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for WEDC. “Potential investors and customers want to see progress beyond what the federal grants can provide, and SBIR Advance helps to close that critical gap.”
In addition to V-Glass, six companies based in Madison also received grants:
systeMECH, a company that is developing tools and processes to build flexible hybrid electronic and photonic devices
Xylome, a firm that specializes in producing renewable fuels and other products through the metabolic engineering of certain types of yeast
Regenerative Medical Solutions, a company that supplies pancreatic cells for drug research and is also developing a therapeutic treatment for diabetes.
Glucan Biorenewables, a company that turns wood chips and other biomass materials into renewable chemicals and other advanced materials.
Amebagone, a company that is developing antimicrobials and disinfectants to kill bacterial pathogens that harm crops and cause disease in humans.