Solid Power was honored to be an early award recipient under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (COEDIT) Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) grant program. The company’s AI award of $250,000 directly led to a $3.1M investment by the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E office focused on advanced batteries for electric vehicles. The ARPA-E award serves to validate the potential of Solid Power’s technology.
“The State’s Advanced Industries program is fantastic. The grants really help small companies like ours get over some of the hurdles of trying to move out of the lab and into early product development,” said Doug Campbell, CEO of Solid Power. “I see the success of startups as the center of economic growth and job creation. With the support of state programs such as the AI grants, startups like Solid Power are at the base of a strong economy.”
The early “seed capital” received under the AIA grant program was instrumental in positioning the company for commercial success. In addition to the AI funding, Solid Power has since secured a cumulative investment of nearly $5M from a combination of Federal government (e.g., U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Missile Defense Agency) and commercial partner sources. Together, this funding has positioned the company to produce full-scale prototype batteries by the end of 2015 capable of early product qualification testing for a wide range of market applications. Further, the company has established formal Joint Development Agreements with several Fortune 500 companies helping to position the company for market insertion. In addition to funding, Solid Power’s team has grown to 12 with nine of these positions created since receiving the AIA award in late 2013. The company expects a continuation of this personnel growth through 2015 and beyond.
Established in 2012 as a spinout company from the University of Colorado Boulder and based on groundbreaking research in solid-state battery technology, Solid Power has assembled a world-class team of battery researchers and engineers with the exclusive goal of commercializing the company’s next-generation solid-state rechargeable batteries. After completing its transition out of the University of Colorado in early 2014, the company moved into its own 7,000ft2 facility located in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville, CO.
Solid Power became a member of the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) almost immediately after its founding as it recognized CCIA’s value in advocating for cleantech at the State level as well as the opportunities it affords in networking within Colorado’s vibrant cleantech community. Many startups credit the growth of their company to entrepreneurship and accelerator community programs. Solid Power is no exception, and attributes much of their initial success to guidance and support from the Fort Collins, CO-based Innosphere. “I believe a robust cleantech ecosystem – comprised of partners such as accelerators, trade associations and the State – is critical to the sustainability of Solid Power and other cleantech startups,” said Campbell.“A healthy ecosystem contributes to a company’s ability to recruit technical and business talent and secure investment.”
Solid Power is developing the next generation of ultra high energy, safe and low cost rechargeable batteries for markets including electric vehicles, portable electronics, military and aerospace among several others. Solid Power’s technology is based on an all solid-state chemistry that provides stored energy that greatly surpasses current Lithium-ion while also possessing inherent safety due to the elimination of the volatile/flammable electrolyte typically used in Lithium-ion batteries. The performance benefits of Solid Power’s all solid-state batteries can enable dramatic increases in numerous products such as increased range for electric vehicles at lower cost (due to the elimination of Li-ion safety features), longer run-time per charge in consumer electronics and increased lifetime of military and commercial satellites.
In 2014, CCIA named Solid Power as the 2014 Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year. The 2014 Colorado Cleantech Awards recognize local companies for their efforts in advancing Colorado’s cleantech ecosystem, increasing jobs and driving innovation in the cleantech sector.