Furthering Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s entrepreneurial vision for education in New York State, the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) announced that Eonix, a clean energy startup born at SUNY Poly and led by CNSE graduate students, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). This award is in addition to a recent $50,000 National Science Foundation grant that will also help to further commercialize the company’s unique electrolytes for use in high-powered energy storage devices known as ultracapacitors.
“I am thrilled to congratulate these students and alumnus as they continue to leverage all that SUNY Poly has to offer, providing a great example of how SUNY is fulfilling Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to innovation and business growth through education,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “As these students harness the power of SUNY, they are providing proof that New York State’s unique public-private partnerships are enabling student businesses, a world-class hands-on education, and the potential for future growth and jobs.”
“Governor Andrew Cuomo’s vision supporting leading-edge commercialization efforts to drive the innovation economy has directly enabled the success of this student-led company as it helps to power the clean energy revolution in New York State,” said SUNY Poly Vice President of Entrepreneurship Innovation and Clean Energy Programs and Director of the CNSE Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) Dr. Pradeep Haldar. “The awards are an exciting testament to SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s rigorous educational programs, caliber of students, and advanced capabilities. I congratulate Eonix on this recognition which will help to accelerate the development of these ultracapacitor electrolytes to enable more efficient energy storage.”
“We are honored by NYSERDA’s recognition of Eonix’s capabilities, and we look forward to continuing to work with SUNY Poly’s research and high-tech startup experts to grow and expand our capabilities,” said SUNY Poly graduate student and Eonix CEO Shane McMahon. “Utilizing the unmatched statewide network of facilities and expert faculty and staff at SUNY Poly, we are thrilled to work toward fulfilling Eonix’s true potential, and this ability is a direct result of our one-of-a-kind education here.”
Eonix is focused on increasing the capabilities of next-generation energy storage devices by developing chemistries for electrolyte solutions. In particular, the funding will allow Eonix to test its electrolytes in commercial-grade ultracapacitors and further develop its technology roadmap toward full commercialization. These specific electrolytes are able to enhance the electrical properties of ultracapacitors, which are used in thousands of energy applications, including regenerative braking systems in cars and trains and start-stop car and truck systems; they also provide energy reliability and stability for wind, solar, and other clean energy storage systems, for example.
Eonix is one of 32 companies working with Incubators for Collaborating and Leveraging Energy and Nanotechnology (iCLEAN), founded in 2010 by SUNY Poly and Hudson Valley Center for Innovation. The startup is also one of more than 130 member companies of NY-BEST, a consortium of energy storage-related companies such as Toshiba, General Electric, and fellow SUNY Polytechnic spinout B.E.S.S Technologies. NY-BEST is dedicated to establishing New York as a global leader in the energy storage industry.
Eonix has secured further funding and a number of recent accolades. The company received $50,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation earlier this year to accelerate business development under the Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps), which seeks to jumpstart a national innovation ecosystem by identifying NSF-funded researchers who would benefit from additional funding support to accelerate innovation that can then attract more third-party funding. Eonix was recently invited to present at the nation’s premier clean energy investment event, the 27th National Renewable Energy Laboratory Industry Growth Forum (NREL Forum) to be held in Denver, CO on October 28th and 29th. Eonix is one of 30 companies selected by a panel of nearly 100 business incubators and professional investors to present at this year’s NREL Forum, elevating Eonix’s exposure to venture capitalists on the national level.
Additionally, Eonix took first place in the Energy and Sustainability track at the 2013 New York State Business Plan Competition where more than 430 student-led teams from nearly 60 colleges and universities in New York competed to win $500,000 in cash and prizes by pitching their student-born innovations and ventures.
Eonix is led by CEO Shane McMahon, a Ph.D. candidate in Nanoscale Engineering; Chief Technology Officer and Ph.D. candidate in Nanoscale Science Don DeRosa; and Chief Financial Officer James Pater, who graduated in August with a Masters of Science in Nanoengineering.