HybridGen nears first goal
A Reno startup that’s working to improve the efficiency of hybrid vehicles has raised more than $1 million toward a goal of $1.3 million in its initial round of financing.
HybridGen Inc. executives said last week they’re also talking with several capital groups about a $15 million second round within 12 months.
“Our goal is to complete as much funding as possible with local groups in order to support the local economy and the Reno area’s growing reputation for supporting the startup technology sector,” says Leslie Caron, the company’s manager of investor relations and sustainable business practices.
The company is the first to gain significant traction out of the 250 Bell Street Labs, a nonprofit technology accelerator in Reno’s downtown.
The company has nailed down one patent and has five pending, says Susan Clark, HybridGen’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
An early application of the technology involves the capture of what the company calls “significant amounts” of energy from engines’ exhaust stream. That increases power, improves mileage and reduces emissions.
John Kuczaj, the inventor and co-founder of HybridGen, brought his technology from Michigan to Reno three years ago, drawn by the region’s many small-scale component suppliers and design shops.
The company’s technology team also includes Jonas Bereisa, a former General Motors executive who is chief architect of the Chevy Volt, and Thomas Booth, a turbocharger expert who previously worked with Garrett and Honeywell.
Clark said the company has met with automotive and technology companies concerning the next round of HyridGen products.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.