Midlands Technical College Business Accelerator Grand Opening

December 2, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – December 2, 2008 – Midlands Technical College (MTC) held a grand opening for its new Business Accelerator on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, at 10:00 a.m.

To view photos of this event click here.

The 25,000-square-foot Business Accelerator is designed to accommodate emerging businesses, industries or technologies that have left the research and development stage and are ready for start-up production. Located on Midlands Technical College’s Enterprise Campus, the MTC Business Accelerator provides four 4,000-square-foot bays, each with a private entrance and office area, and a flexible design that allows adaptation to meet the needs of its private partner business tenants.

Companies initially housed in the MTC Business Accelerator are positioned to permanently locate elsewhere on the Enterprise Campus at Midlands Technical College. The MTC Enterprise Campus consists of 150 acres, and provides a unique environment for companies to accelerate their development through partnership with the college.

In September 2008, the college announced that the first tenant in the MTC Business Accelerator would be Trulite, Inc., a fuel cell manufacturing company. The MTC Business Accelerator is serving as Trulite’s North American manufacturing site for its high energy density Hydrocell™ fuel cartridges. Trulite is the only fuel cell company to offer both fuel cell and fuel source in one fully integrated system, and its Hydrocell™ stores over 400 watt-hours of energy in one cartridge, which is then utilized by Trulite’s KH4 250 watt portable generator. Trulite is the first manufacturer of fuel cells in the state of South Carolina.

MTC President Dr. Marshall (Sonny) White, Jr., said, MTC understands the importance of alternate energy research and production to the economy of our region and to the future of the community. The college is impressed with the work Trulite is doing, and is proud to have the company as the first tenant in the MTC Business Accelerator. Trulite’s presence will be a valuable addition to the college’s Enterprise Campus.

Ken Pearson, COO of Trulite said that Trulite was looking to raise $15M to capitalize on the business opportunities offered by their fuel cells.  Finding that money in this economic environment has proven challenging, but Pearson remains optimistic about the company’s five year projections. We are looking to ramp up to production levels in the thousands for the generators and in the hundreds of thousands for the Hydocells™.  We will employ roughly 80 people and we expect to be profitable within three years, said Pearson. 

Battery manufacturers are very interested in this technology, said Pearson.  People are starting to look at this as the next generation of batteries.

Afterwards, invited guests, including many elected officials and members of the business and economic development community, toured the new facility.

The Enterprise Campus at Midlands Technical College provides businesses the benefits of prime location, proximity to regional transportation infrastructure and research institutions, use of the college’s technology resources and faculty expertise, and access to college students who are training for careers in the technology jobs of the future.

Companies locating on the Enterprise Campus have access to the 50,000-square-foot MTC Center of Excellence for Technology. The Technology Center provides the highest standards of interactivity and instructional technology in emerging technical fields and economic development clusters such as information technology, advanced manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Premium conferencing and auditorium spaces are equipped with compressed video telecommunications capabilities and satellite downlink.

One of South Carolina’s largest colleges, Midlands Technical College, a comprehensive two-year institution, annually enrolls approximately 16,000 credit students seeking to develop career skills or transfer to a four-year college or university. The college’s Continuing Education Division provides training opportunities to more than 30,000 individuals each year, and is one of the largest providers of noncredit professional upgrade training of any two-year college in the state. Midlands Technical College is the largest source of transfer students to the University of South Carolina.

To view photos of this event click here.


To view photos of this event click here.