CorePower Magnetics is receiving a $5 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy Technologies, aka SCALEUP.
CEO Sam Kernion told Technical.ly the funding will be used to expand the startup’s current staff, and to scale its production of next-generation magnetic solutions for electric vehicles, EV charging and the grid.
The SCALEUP program supports entities that are in the pre-pilot, pilot, and scale-up phase of developing “potentially disruptive new technologies,” Kernion said. CorePower came on the program’s radar due to its background in energy tech and was ultimately selected for the grant out of 160 applicants.
“It was something that we saw posted around this time last year, and we felt like we had a good opportunity to be able to use this funding to have an impact,” the CEO said. “We were at the right point in time with our company.”
One benefit in particular is that the funding will allow the company to manufacture its products within the city.
“From the grant side, this is really around strengthening the domestic supply chain, both in terms of key products that are needed for critical applications, as well as building a manufacturing workforce that can support this,” Kernion said. “We’re making inductors and transformers off of this manufacturing line that are a lot more compact and more efficient.”
📢Today, @ENERGY announced $100 million through the SCALEUP 2021 program for 8 selectees to:
1⃣Develop American-made modern tech to strengthen global competitiveness
2⃣Create more clean energy jobs
3⃣Cut greenhouse gas emissions
— ARPA-E (@ARPAE) November 22, 2022
This comes on the heels of the startup raising $2.5 million in pre-seed funding in September. CorePower was also one of five companies selected to participate in the 10th cohort of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator.
With the added $5 million, the plan is to continue steps to commercializing CorePower’s products over the next three years. Currently the company’s team is relatively small in the way of full-time employees, including Kernion, the company’s executive administrator, a critical design engineer and a lead engineer. Thanks to the funding over the next year, the company plans to double its size by hiring technicians and engineers.
The goal is the use all of this year’s victories to create renewables that can better fit into homes, businesses and cities.
“The potential of EVs and renewables has created unprecedented needs for more efficient and power-dense magnetics so that EVs can travel farther and charge faster, and the grid can adequately handle growth in demand,” Kernion said.
Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supportedby the Heinz Endowments.