The WERCBench Labs Early-Stage Start-Up (ESS) Program is a 12-week mentor-supported, technology-immersive, seed accelerator. This innovative and intense program works with and trains teams in best practices to find a repeatable and scalable business model. The program provides a $10,000 grant and a $10,000 Royalty Based Financing investment to each business that participates in the program. WERCBench Labs seeks early stage ventures (Series A­ Round or less) that are building technology-based, hardware-oriented products in support of the Energy, Power, and Controls sector. Teams leading this year’s program hail from The Commons, UW-Milwaukee, Center for Technology Commercialization.

WERCBench Labs

WERCBench Labs are housed within the M-WERC Energy Innovation Center, which hosts an ever-growing collection of state-of-the-art testing, prototyping and small-scale production equipment. Program participants also have unparalleled opportunities and access to the leading companies in the world on energy, power and controls technology enabled by the M-WERC regional cluster of business and academic institutions. M-WERC’s members include representatives from more than 90 of the nation’s top research and technical colleges, universities and corporations directly involved in the energy, power and control sectors.

Advanced Innovation Program

This program is the second phase of WERCBench Labs and helps startup teams develop the skills that will prepare them to present to investors.

February-March 2018, eight weeks

  1. September 5th – Week One: Customer Identification / MWERC Member introduction
  2. September 12th – Week Two: Lean StartUps, Business Model Canvas, Customer Interviews
  3. September 19th – Week Three: Value Proposition, MVP
  4. September 26th – Week Four: Customer Relationship, Customer Segments
  5. October 3rd – Week Five: Minimum Viable Product & Product-Market Fit
  6. October 10th – Week Six: Customer Relationships, Customer Acquisitions
  7. October 17th – Week Seven:  Revenue Streams / Business Models
  8. October 24th – Week Eight:  Partners
  9. October 31st – Week Nine: Resources, Activities, Costs and Cost Structure
  10. November 7th – Week Ten: The Art of Startup Finance
  11. November 14th – Week Eleven: Presentation Skills
  12. November 21st – Week Twelve: Demo Day Prep / Dry Runs
  13. December 14th – Demo Day / Holiday Party