NEXUS-NY Proof-of-Concept Center selects its 2015 cohort of clean-energy research teams

NEXUS-NY, a clean energy accelerator, has selected its second cohort of business discovery teams to participate in a rigorous and structured program that guides participants towards three primary objectives: to assess product-market fit; to develop proof-of-concept prototypes; and to obtain third-party validation of their business model and technology.

Funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and administered by High Tech Rochester (HTR), NEXUS-NY (New Energy Xcelerator of Upstate New York) is one of three NYSERDA-funded proof-of-concept centers (POCCs) chartered with accelerating the translation of clean energy technologies from New York’s research labs into the marketplace.
“We are happy with the progress made by participants of our inaugural cohort,” says NEXUS-NY Executive Director Doug Buerkle. “Participating teams have launched seven new startup companies and two of those have received investor term sheets.

“Follow-on grants have already exceeded $500 thousand and several companies have achieved and/or are working towards a first customer sale and/or successful customer pilot testing. It’s still early, but I expect the second cohort will do even better.”

The program is run in two phases. The initial phase lasts three months and requires business discovery teams to directly interact with industry participants in order to build and test a viable business model.

Upon completion of Phase 1, some teams will move on to the second phase, where they are eligible for additional support including, on average, $50,000, for further prototype development.

The clean energy teams in the 2015 NEXUS-NY program are:

SUNY Binghamton/Chroma NanoTech – working on optical nanomaterials that can be formulated into inks or polymer films for low-cost, durable passive solar applications.

Nasfine – developing intellectual property that promises to become a foundational building block for low power photonic integrated circuits (ICs), which will be used in optical transceivers within data centers.

Cornell University – working on an alkaline fuel cell membrane technology that enables the use of non-precious metal catalysts.

Cornell/Xallent – developing a novel scanning probe microscope (SPM) that enables simultaneous imaging and electronic characterization of nanoscale films.

Molecular Glasses – developing a new class of organic semiconductor materials that enable lower cost and higher performance OLED displays and lighting solutions.

iLumenati – developing novel solid-state lighting solutions.

Rochester Institute of Technology – working on a high-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) for fuel cell systems with unprecedented power/weight capability and fuel flexibility.

Solstice Power – working on a high-efficiency, concentrated solar power (CSP) system targeted to the midsize energy market (14kW –1MW).

RPI/CASE – developing customized sorption panel systems, manufactured from agricultural by-products, that reduce energy consumption through the removal of moisture from building air streams.