CalCharge — a sort-of Y Combinator for battery startups — and San Jose State University are creating a “Battery University” program for the next-generation of earnest battery entrepreneurs and researchers. The university will offer classes on its Santa Clara, Calif. campus starting this summer on battery technology, business and innovation.
Much of the battery innovation that has occurred over the years has happened in Japan and Korea (via giants like Panasonic) and much of the battery manufacturing happens in China. But California now has some 40+ battery companies, spurred by the Silicon Valley venture and startup ecosystem, through strong university research and through federal funds from the Department of Energy. Of the 13 battery startups I recently profiled, almost half of them are based in California.
The CalCharge accelerator launched last spring, and provides battery companies and entrepreneurs with a space to collaborate, share resources, find and recruit talent and coordinate on solving problems. A battery entrepreneur that has utilized CalCharge told me earlier this year that one of the great things about the accelerator program is that companies can share battery lab equipment, which can cut down dramatically on their startup costs.
Updated at 2:25PM on Friday to correct that CalCharge isn’t using a $120 million grant from the DOE. That $120 million grant was allocated for the Joint Center for Energy Research.