ByteLight Awarded Funded Services through U-Launch Program

in News
October 11th, 2011

ByteLight one of seven innovative cleantech companies selected for technical development, entrepreneurial advisory and incubation services

BOSTON, MA – October 4, 2011: ByteLight has been selected for funded services through U-Launch, a US Department of Energy-funded grant-based award program that provides funded services to promising clean energy start-ups. These grant awards were offered as part of the Cleantech Open Northeast business competition. The grants will be used to assist seven Boston-area companies, including ByteLight in validating, developing and deploying innovative cleantech solutions.

ByteLight is a young BU spinoff that is developing indoor navigation, location based advertising, and interactive shopping experiences for retail spaces. GPS has played a huge role in the recent mobile device revolution, spawning many companies including FourSquare, ShopKick, SCVNGR, and Gowalla. There are a variety of competing technologies that are trying to solve the indoor positioning problem including Wi-Fi triangulation, dead reckoning, and ultrasound, however these solutions have struggled to reliably achieve sub-meter accuracies. In response, ByteLight is developing a system to turn overhead LED lights into positioning beacons used for locating smartphones indoors.

“Earlier this year, U-Launch committed to providing a minimum of $20,000 in funded services to Cleantech Open Northeast Region semifinalists,” said Eric Graham, Director of Fraunhofer CSE’s TechBridge program and administrator of U-Launch.  “But given the strong field of competitors participating in this year’s competition, we felt compelled to exceed our commitment and have awarded $89,000 in total services to seven highly qualified companies.”

“As a partner in U-Launch the MassCEC is extremely pleased with the level of competition in this year’s Cleantech Open Northeast competition,” added Patrick Cloney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. “It’s exciting for us to support innovative cleantech companies with U-Launch funded service awards.”

“The partnership between U-Launch and the Cleantech Open is a perfect example of the kind of collaborations necessary to further innovation in clean energy,” said Peter Rothstein, President of the New England Clean Energy Council. “New England’s cleantech cluster is rich and diverse, and connecting divergent programs and resources is a top priority.”

The U-Launch program provides grants that are comprised of funded services tailored to enhance the future market and funding potential of the individual awardee, and can include:

  • Technical services provided by Fraunhofer TechBridge, including prototype development assistance, technology validation and technology feasibility studies,
  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) services provided by the New England Clean Energy Council, including business plan development, go-to-market strategy creation, capital requirements planning, and fund-support.
  • Incubation services supplied through the ACTIONetwork, including subsidized space and access to incubator business support services.

These awards were made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of its Innovation Ecosystem Development Initiative, administered by the Commercialization and Deployment Team. The purpose of the Innovation Ecosystems is to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies from US university laboratories into the marketplace.

About the Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled hundreds of clean-technology startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped alumni contestants raise over $300M, and created an estimated 2,500 green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global network of more than 1,000 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.org, or follow Cleantech Open on Twitter and Facebook.

About U-Launch

U-Launch was founded in 2010 with the aim of supporting clean energy technologies in their transition from the laboratory to the market, and is partially funded by a three-year, $1.1M award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovation Ecosystem Development Initiative. The program is administered by four leading New England cleantech organizations: the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), the New England Clean Energy Foundation (NECEF), the Association of CleanTech Incubators of New England (ACTION) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). Each member of the U-Launch team provides critical early-stage resources for start-ups and spinouts. U-Launch grants are awarded to high-potential technologies, many of which are spun out of New England-based research universities. Grants are comprised of funded services tailored to enhance the future market and funding potential of the individual awardee, and can include business model review or development, market analysis, technical feasibility studies, prototype development assistance, technology validation, executive-in-residence guidance, and incubation space.

For more information on the U-Launch partners, visit:

MassCEC – www.masscec.com | Twitter

NECEF – www.cleanenergycouncil.org/foundation | Twitter

Fraunhofer CSE – www.cse.fraunhofer.org | Twitter

ACTION – www.innovativeaction.org

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