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Frankel Fund Invests in Wind Energy Device

6/17/2009 --

Student-run venture capital fund to provide seed money and strategic input to Accio Energy.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Frankel Commercialization Fund, a student-managed venture capital seed fund at the Ross School of Business, has announced an investment of $80,000 in Accio Energy, an Ann Arbor-based developer of an innovative wind energy system.

This marks the fund's fourth investment and the first in a renewable energy company.

Accio Energy, founded by entrepreneurs Dawn White and David Carmein, has developed a wind energy device that utilizes charged particles and wind to create electricity. The proprietary "aerovoltaic" technology utilizes no moving parts and is both highly scalable and cost-effective. Jeffrey Basch, MBA '99, is the company's general manager.

"We are delighted to join the Frankel Fund's CleanTech investment portfolio," says White, Accio Energy president. "The Frankel Fund's endorsement of our aerovoltaic technology and investment quality is another notable milestone for our transformational wind energy system."

The Frankel Fund was formed to help accelerate commercialization of technology and the formation of companies at the University of Michigan and the surrounding community. In line with that mission, Accio Energy intends to utilize the Frankel Fund seed money to develop an alpha prototype for use in customer demonstrations and to develop a strong intellectual property portfolio.

"We are excited for the opportunity to invest in Accio Energy," says Theo Ludwick, MBA/MS '10, a member of the Frankel Fund's CleanTech team. "We believe that Accio Energy has the technology to create and capture a large new renewable energy market, and is led by an extremely savvy and capable team."

Tom Porter, director of the Frankel Fund and the Ross School's Executive-in-Residence says, "The Frankel Fund is thrilled to be making an investment in an alternative energy company with the promise and talent level of Accio Energy. Accio will be a great addition to our portfolio and we are pleased that we could assist a company that is at the forefront of what we hope will be the next major new industry in Michigan."

The Frankel Fund is organized into student teams that function as independently financed venture capital companies providing very early-stage company investing, often known as "seed or pre-seed" investing. Each student team reports to a board of directors comprised of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and CEOs who provide additional mentoring and learning opportunities for the Ross students.

In addition to Ludwick, the Frankel Fund team members responsible for the Accio investment include Mike Hartley and Nina Henning, both MBA/MS '09, and Laura Bruce, Siobhan Doherty, and Brian Katzman, all MBA/MS '10 candidates at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, a partnership between the Ross School and the School of Natural Resources and Environment at U-M.

The Frankel Commercialization Fund is continually seeking opportunities to help jumpstart new companies in Michigan. For more information, visit the Frankel Fund at frankelfund.com or contact Porter at tporter@umich.edu or (734) 516-5467.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 936-1015 or 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu