Correction: In my original post, I mistakenly referred to a $274,291 “grant” Pika received in June 2011 from the Maine Technology Institute. That was, in fact, a loan. I regret the error.
Pika Energy continues to be the darling of Maine’s angel and venture capital investment community.
The Small Enterprise Growth Fund, Maine’s VC fund, said on Wednesday it has invested $150,000 in the Gorham-based company, which is developing residential-scale wind turbines and corresponding electrical systems.
“The SEGF looks for companies in Maine that demonstrate both high growth potential and public benefit,” Jayme Okma Lee, SEGF’s fund associate, said in a statement. “The company is an appealing SEGF investment because of the strong management team, promising technology, and potential for public benefit in the form of high paying Maine jobs and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.”
Over the past two years, Pika Energy has attracted capital from just about every source possible in Maine, and several out-of-state sources. By my calculation it has now received nearly $1.1 million.
Here’s a quick rundown:
- In May 2011, the company receives a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research program
- In June 2011, it receives a $274,291 Development Loan from the Maine Technology Institute
- In 2012, it raised $250,000 in angel investment courtesy of members of the Maine Angels and the New Hampshire-based eCoast Angels
- In October 2012, it won the Northeast Region Semifinals of the 2012 Cleantech Open business plan competition, which came with a check for $20,000
- In November 2012, the company received a follow-up Development Loan from MTI in the amount of $218,834.
- In January 2013, it received a $150,000 grant as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Small Wind Competitiveness Improvement Project.
- In April 2013, the company won Gorham Savings Bank’s inaugural LaunchPad business plan competition, which came with a $30,000 award.
And now the SEGF funding.
Ben Polito, the company’s co-founder and president, told me recently that the company will be using its recently acquired funds to help commercialize its product, including renting a permanent manufacturing space in the Gorham area.
“We are very excited to have raised the capital necessary to commercialize our wind turbine and related technologies,” Polito said in the SEGF news release. “It is an exciting time at Pika Energy.”