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MSU High-tech Turbine Startup Accelerates with LEAP’s PROTO Accelerator

LANSING, Mich. – Black Pine Engineering, a manufacturer of cutting-edge compressor engines, has been accepted into the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s (LEAP) PROTO Accelerator physical product program. Poised to continue the innovation of technology developed at one of the country’s top research institutions, Michigan State University (MSU), Black Pine will receive investment and comprehensive business guidance through the PROTO program.

For Zack Hoyle, CEO of Black Pine, access to and assistance with prototyping through PROTO Accelerator will help fine tune engine design and find new market opportunities. “LEAP’s PROTO Accelerator investment allows us to complete our prototype and test it on potential customer sites, gathering the data needed to get to first sales while also identifying other promising applications including low-cost turbines for power generation and electric turbo props for next generation aircraft,” Hoyle said.

Black Pine’s compressor contains several innovations, including MSU licensed technology, which allows Black Pine to produce a smaller, more efficient and lightweight turbine. The company anticipates it will be used in numerous industries such as oil and gas, along with other industrial and commercial applications.

Vice President of PROTO, Joe Carr, emphasized the competitive startup landscape in the region and the opportunity PROTO Accelerator offers startup companies as they seek to innovate, “Black Pine Engineering is representative of the talent and innovation that calls Lansing home. PROTO Accelerator continues to assist this next generation of advanced startups as they prepare to enter the market.”
The PROTO program involves six months of intense work, designed to help with product refinement, connecting with manufacturers and industry experts, and preparing the company for future growth through investment and sales.

“LEAP, through PROTO Accelerator, is proud to be supporting the Lansing region and the entire state, with the first and only physical product accelerator in Michigan. As a note, beyond the physical product vertical investing in Black Pine, LEAP also recently announced the launch of PROTO InsurTech, the first and only insurtech accelerator program in Michigan, with support from DIFS and founding investors Delta Dental and Farm Bureau,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “These two programs offer key support for high-tech startups as they seek to create new and compelling products and services and are a great avenue for leveraging and extending the innovative research flowing from Michigan State University.”

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About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.