US Senator Tammy Baldwin helps announce new class of WERCBench Labs Accelerator

MILWAUKEE – Seven startup companies with technologies ranging from wind power generation to smart thermostats were selected to participate in the WERCBench Labs Accelerator program fifth cohort this fall.

““Small businesses are the engines of our Made in Wisconsin economy,” said US Senator Tammy Baldwin. “I’m excited to be here today to see the impact of WERCBench Labs and meet with these entrepreneurs who are building innovative new technologies right here in Milwaukee.” Baldwin toured M-WERC’s facility and had the opportunity to visit with past graduates of the program as well as meet some of the newly selected companies.

“We continue to attract some incredible talent,” said Jacquin Davidson, Managing Director WERCBench Labs. “This year’s cohort has some exceptional technologies.” Davidson will lead and coordinate efforts in the program, with classes being taught by academics, professional experts and industry professionals as instructors. which is scheduled to start in October and run for 16 weeks, concluding with the Demo Day presentations from each team on March 3, 2020.

WERCBench Labs is housed within the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center, which hosts an ever-growing collection of state-of-the-art testing, prototyping and small-scale production equipment. Five WERCBench Labs graduates have moved their businesses into the building and are operating in the lab space and offices.

Program participants also have unparalleled opportunities and access to the leading companies in the world on energy, power and controls technology enabled by the M-WERC regional cluster of business and academic institutions.

Teams selected for this year’s program include:


Erika Boeing– Founder/CEO

Scott Mueller

Chicago, IL – Argonne National Labs

A commercial rooftop wind installation with patented drive train


Claire Friona – Founder

Milwaukee, WI

Fruit and food solar dehydrators


Joe Bonniewell

Madison, WI

Machine learning software to manage building profiles for HVAC systems


Ashray Manur – Founder

Madison, WI

Disaster relief tech platform to manage grids in homes and buildings


Veronika Stelmach – Founder

Chicago, IL

Ultra-high energy density, multi-fuel, silent, compact power generator


Killian Tobin - Founder

Chicago, IL

Financial market software system that determines the most efficient mix of generation and loads on the grid


Ellad Wallach – Founder

Boulder, CO

Smart thermostats to use to moderate hot water heaters for storage


About the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium

M-WERC was founded in 2009 by three universities and four industrial companies to focus on conducting collaborative and transformative energy related seed research. It has grown to more than 90 members with an annual budget of more than $1 million. Today M-WERC is dedicated to making the Midwest region the leader in energy power and controls. Visit or follow M-WERC on Twitter @MWERC to learn more.

About WERCBench Labs

Founded as a program of the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC), WERCBench Labs is a 12-week immersive program for technology innovators. The program supports participating start-up teams with mentors, business modeling, marketing, legal advice and funding. For more information visit us online at

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