Adaptive Materials' Michelle Crumm among finalists for Entrepreneur Magazine award
The nomination is reflective of the fuel-cell company’s viral growth in the portable power business. The firm is using propane-based technology to provide an alternative to heavy, inefficient battery systems for soldiers on the battlefield. It’s also pursuing various commercial applications for its technology.
Crumm said she was caught off guard by how much attention the nomination has received.
“It’s just really funny how big it is,” Crumm said.
Entrepreneur Magazine is expected to announce the winner sometime this fall. The nomination comes as Adaptive Materials has been experiencing increased visibility on the national energy scene. In August, Michelle Crumm introduced then-presidential candidate Barack Obama at a political rally in Lansing.
Michelle and her co-founding husband, Aaron, have steered the firm into the national spotlight without accepting venture capital investment - an unusual accomplishment for startup tech companies.
“They’ve been very savvy about going after the right funding that’s available at the time,” said Elizabeth Parkinson, director of marketing and public relations for economic development group Ann Arbor SPARK.
Adaptive Materials has relied mostly on $35 million in funding from various federal government initiatives. Crumm said she expects another $10 million to $15 million in 2010.Â
“If it’s a great idea and it’s something that the government will need, they’ll pay for the development of it,” Crumm said.
The firm has more than 65 employees at its 47,000-square-foot operation off South State Street in Pittsfield.