W7Energy has been named the winner of the first University of Delaware FastPass Award. This award grants W7Energy an equity free start-up package, including operational and financial support valued at $50,000, and is provided by the Delaware Innovation Space.
W7Energy, a start-up company founded by University of Delaware Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering professor Yushan Yan, focuses on the development of next-generation hydroxide exchange membranes and polymeric materials that enable zero-emission fuel cell powered vehicles at significantly lower total cost. The team of seven plans to begin operations at the Delaware Innovation Space on January 1 st, 2019.
“Delaware Innovation Space is the perfect location for W7Energy to start its polymer synthesis and scale-up because of its extensive wet chemistry-friendly facilities and support system,” said Yushan Yan of W7Energy. “As a strong early advocate for the establishment of Delaware Innovation Space in the Experimental Station, I feel particularly excited that the W7Energy journey will begin there.”
The FastPass Award was designed and developed by the Delaware Innovation Space in partnership with the University of Delaware to facilitate the formation of new start-ups and accelerate existing small companies affiliated with the University. The FastPass competition is a highly competitive award judged by members of the university and local business community and recognizes both growth and impact potential of awardees’ underlying science. This is the first in a series of UD FastPass Award competitions to be held annually to support and cultivate diverse, technically focused economic development in the state. The next competition is scheduled to launch in mid-2019.
“Congratulations to Yushan and his team for winning the first FastPass competition,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship is one of the University’s top priorities, so we are proud to support start-ups like W7Energy that are developing a more environmentally friendly and sustainable future for the world. We look forward to seeing W7Energy and all the companies at Delaware Innovation Space succeed.”
“We are very pleased to further strengthen our partnership with the University of Delaware with this UD FastPass Award and welcome W7Energy into our innovation community,” said Bill Provine, President and CEO of the Delaware Innovation Space. “Our mission at the Delaware Innovation Space is to enable and accelerate science entrepreneurs at every stage of building and growing their startups.”