Stationary wind energy device startup Accio Energy lands $1.9 million in venture capital
Pittsfield Township-based startup Accio Energy has raised $1.9 million in early-stage venture capital to continue developing a new device its co-founder has previously described as the "Model T of wind energy."
Nathan Bomey | AnnArbor.com
The new capital gives the 3-year-old company some runway to continue developing its stationary, silent electrohydrodynamic device, which uses the wind and engineered tubes to separate electrically charged water particles, generating an electrical current.
Accio President Dawn White, one of the company's co-founders, has compared the renewable energy process to the electrical charges that build up in a cloud during a thunderstorm, leading to lightning bolts.
The new venture financing includes some capital from Ann Arbor-based Resonant Venture Partners, a new investment firm.
But the money comes mostly from "angel" investors, a term used to describe wealthy individuals who are willing to take a significant risk with their money by backing a company with promising but extremely early-stage technology.
Other previous investors include Oakland County-based economic development group Automation Alley and the Frankel Commercialization Fund, which is run by business students at the University of Michigan.
The financing comes about eight months after the company recruited former Accuri Cytometers CEO and co-founder Jennifer Baird to become CEO. Fundraising is one of her top priorities.
Accio has previously said that its device, like solar panels, would be "modular," meaning customers could assemble them in small or large sections.
In a news release today, the company said the modules would generate 5 kilowatt-hours to 20kW and could be linked together to generate more than 1 megawatt of power.
As part of the investment, Accio is getting three new board members: Resonant managing director Michael Godwin, U-M Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies executive director Tom Kinnear and former Detroit Edison President Bob Buckler.
Board chairwoman Mary Campbell, who has personally invested in the company, Baird and White will continue to serve on the board.
“As chairperson of their advisory board, I have seen Accio Energy from the inside," Buckler said in a statement. "I know that their innovative wind energy technology can change the game from within energy industry."