Business incubator at University of Michigan's ex-Pfizer site getting another startup tenant
The University of Michigan's startup business incubator is quickly filling up with tech companies launched by faculty members.
Wolverine Energy Solutions and Technology Inc. will become the latest tenant at the university's Venture Accelerator, which officially opened in January in a 16,000-square-foot space at the ex-Pfizer campus in northern Ann Arbor.
The U-M Board of Regents on Thursday is expected to approve a 12-month lease for Wolverine Energy, which is developing new organic materials to improve energy storage.
U-M formed the Venture Accelerator to give its own startup companies a boost. Low-cost, high-tech incubator space can make a big difference in the development of young companies.
Among the other companies renting space at the Venture Accelerator are Life Magnetics, Phrixus Pharmaceuticals, 3D Biomatrix, Civionics and EngXT.
The university is charging $2,150 per month for a "half bay" of lab space and $200 per month for a small office.
Ken Nisbet, executive director of the Tech Transfer Office, which runs the Venture Accelerator, has said the incubator could eventually have 15 to 20 startups. They are expected to stay at the incubator anywhere from 12 months to 36 months and, ideally, grow to the stage where they can move out and establish their own offices.
“We’re thinking about half of them would like to be here,” Nisbet said in a recent interview. “When they launch, hopefully they’re going to be far more sustainable and grow quicker and have an economic impact.” Contact AnnArbor.com's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's newsletters.