Academic/Industry Partnership to Receive Seed Grant to Develop Renewable Energy Technology for Use in Agriculture, Second Homes Markets
A new partnership between Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College and a startup firm in Hardy County has received a seed grant through TechConnect West Virginia’s Innovation Transfer Consortium.
The Innovation Transfer Consortium (ITC), a project of TechConnect WV, has awarded a $5,000 seed grant to Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College and Lost River Green Tech in Hardy County to develop new and unique ways of installing wind and solar technologies, while also exploring the market potential of renewable energy technologies in the region.
Matthew Persinger, an Army veteran, and experienced machinist, developed the idea for Lost River Green Tech as part of his studies in the college’s entrepreneurship program.
Now his startup is part of Eastern’s New Biz Launchpad, where he can brainstorm with Joe Kapp, Entrepreneur in Residence.
“I’ve been interested in wind and solar technologies for a long time, and as I thought about what this county and region could do in terms of green technology, it was apparent that there is a potential market not only in agricultural operations and homeowners but also in the influx of second homeowners,” Persinger said.
“There are many people who are very interested in finding ways to reduce energy costs, or simply not have to rely on the grid,” he added.
Persinger also plans to develop new and unique ways of installing green technology that adapt to the forest-covered hills of West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands.
“As the cost of wind and solar installation comes down, there will be a lot of opportunities and Lost River Green Tech will be poised to assist,” he added.
President Chuck Terrell at EWVCTC said, “The startup is a good fit for our existing programs, which include degrees in wind energy technology and business management. Eastern’s New Biz Launchpad is helping companies like Lost River Green Tech start and prosper,” he added.
TechConnect WV Executive Director Anne Barth said the ITC specifically works to help forge productive connections between West Virginia’s innovative institutions of higher education and the potential private sector partners who can help turn their work into viable products, services, technologies and, ultimately, jobs.
“This partnership is a great example of the types of work we have sought to support through the seed grant program. We expect it to be ‘close to commercialization’ and have real market potential, as in the case of Lost River Green Tech,” Barth said.
“Matt is a great example of the entrepreneurial spirt continuing to find it home here in the Potomac Highlands,” said Dr. Terrell.