Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of Technical.ly’s best Delaware reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.
Big news for green tech in Delaware this week: Delaware Innovation Space-based Versogen has raised a $14.5 million Series A.
The fund round was led by Doosan Corporation and its affiliate HyAxiom, Inc. Other investors include The Chemours Company, TechEnergy Ventures, Wenstone H2Tech LLC, TOP Ventures America LLC, a CVC arm of Thai Oil Public Company Limited, DSC Investment and CN Innovations Investments Limited.
The new funding will support the development and prototype of Versogen’s next-generation electrolyzer stacks and expand the production of its patented anion exchange membranes (AEM), which are used to manufacture low-cost zero emission hydrogen systems. Applications include carbon neutral vehicles.
Versogen founder Yushan Yan, a Henry B. du Pont Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, told Technical.ly the company plans to increase in size in 2022.
“We have a staff of 17 and aim to grown to 30 by the end of this year,” Yan said, adding that the company plans to stay in Delaware as it continues to grow.
“Versogen, since its inception, has been making significant progress in scaling up its AEM production, and our membranes have found a long list of loyal customers around the globe,” the founder said in a press release. “This new investment will allow us to scale up the membrane manufacturing process further to bring down the costs and expand our customer base.”
Versogen was Technical.ly’s top-ranked honoree on Delaware’s RealLIST Startups for 2020, back when it went by the name W7Energy before its award-winning rebrand in early 2021.
What else happened in Delaware this week?
- Last week was Economic Development Week, and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership has put together a new video that shows what economic development means in Delaware, featuring familiar faces from Wilmington to the beaches. Check it out:
- Have you read Philly Mag’s feature “Wilmington is becoming the it city next door” by Sarah Maiellano? It’s an interesting – and positive! – look at Wilmington from an outside perspective.
- Gov. John Carney recently signed Senate Substitute 2 for Senate Bill 1 into law, creating a statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program, that, beginning on Jan. 1 2025, will offer eligible Delaware workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave. The goal is to help workers deal with their own serious health conditions, care for a family member with a serious health condition, care for a new child or to address the impact of a family member’s military deployment. It is the 11th state to offer paid family and medical leave.
- Delaware State University is in the national news after its lacrosse team’s charter bus was stopped and searched in Georgia, with players shown on video being pressured to confess to possession of drugs. DSU President Dr. Tony Allen said this in a message to the community: “We shall not be moved.”
- Wilmington-based Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries, has been selected as a 2022 US Best Managed Company by the Best Managed Company Program sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal.
Upcoming Delaware events
- Dr. Bertalan Meskó, director of the Medical Futurist Institute, will be the keynote speaker at the Stern Future Healthcare Workforce Summit on May 17 at the STAR Tower Audion at UD, with a talk on how science fiction technologies can become reality in medicine and healthcare.
- Also on May 17, the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce will offer the free webinar, “Weighing in on Workplace Wellness,” featuring panelists including Stephanie Belinske, chronic disease epidemiologist at Delaware Division of Public Health.
- The Bellefonte Arts Festival is back on May 21. The cornerstone event of artist collective Bellefonte Arts has brought local art to the Town of Bellefonte since 2009.
- The Small Business Development Center is offering a free webinar for entrepreneurs called “How to Start a Business” on June 9 in the afternoon and June 11 in the morning. The webinar will provide the basics for starting a new business in Delaware, including access to resources.