Clean-tech startup picoSpray is putting together a lengthy list of customers for its small-engine technology and is well on its way to proving the viability of its concept.
The Ann Arbor-based start-up's technology is basically a low-cost electronic fuel injection system for small engines. The product will help make small engines (think lawn mowers or chainsaws or go-carts) more energy efficient and help reduce their emissions. Check out a video on the technology here
. The technology can reduce fuel consumption by 10-15 percent, depending on the type of engine, calibration, and the speed it runs at.
"For different customers there are different valuations," says Lihang Nong, founder of picoSpray
He adds that picoSpray has already proven the concept behind its technology to one large manufacturer of small engines. He declined to identify the firm. He did say that his firm continues to test its technology in 2014 and is lining up potential customers.
The startup is one year away from commercializing its technology. It is currently working to raise some seed capital to help push the commercialization process forward faster.
"We're in the process of raising a seed round in the area of $1 million," Nong says. "We plan to prove the technology in 2014."
Nong and his team of seven people are all recent engineering graduates of the University of Michigan. They started working on picoSpray at a business plan competition. It eventually moved into the TechArb
, a startup incubator for U-M students in downtown Ann Arbor, and landed a microloan from the Michigan Microloan Fund
last year. It is now working independently of the University of Michigan.
Source: Lihang Nong, founder of picoSpray
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.