Author: Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Joins Forces for Clean H2

Delaware, Southeast PA and South Jersey Join Forces for Clean H2


As the Department of Energy deadline for hydrogen hub concept papers drew to a close, the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2) team submitted a comprehensive outline for the production, processing, delivery, storage and end-use of clean hydrogen throughout the region.

Forming part of the larger $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program includes up to $7 billion to establish 6-10 regional clean hydrogen hubs across the US.

Since the DOE funding announcement, teams have been forming around the US to develop regional strategies that will create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and use connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier that can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as well as carbon emissions.

While clean energy and the hydrogen economy has been on the radar for many organizations for a while, it has taken on increased urgency more recently given the growing climate crisis and geopolitics.

The MACH2 project will leverage existing technology and infrastructure strengths that will enable the mid-Atlantic region to generate clean hydrogen, reuse and revitalize existing pipeline infrastructure, create and retain more than 20,000 well-paying jobs through re-training, up-skilling and talent pipeline building, and provide economic opportunities as well as health improvements that will directly benefit historically underserved communities.

To date, over 25 industry, academic, and supply chain partners have engaged with the MACH2 core team to express their interest in participating with the hub. Current projections are for early-stage output of 85 tons per day of clean hydrogen, which can replace an equivalent amount of daily natural gas combustion, reaching over 600 tons per day once fully scaled up.

The MACH2 team includes representatives from all three regions, as well as experts in the production and distribution of energy.

Says James Snell, Steamfitters Local 420 Business and MACH2 core team member: “Looking at Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey as a whole, we have the critical infrastructure and the skilled, motivated, labor force, needed to succeed in producing large quantities of zero-emission green and pink hydrogen.”

Dora Cheatham, Executive Director of the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) and MACH2 core team member, says: “The Mid-Atlantic has an abundance of riches when it comes to producers and consumers in close proximity. This puts us in a great position to meet the DOE goals for project impact, viability, and market lift-off. “

Joe Colella of Schuyler Energy, MACH2 Team Member and expert in energy transportation states, “Our centralized location makes MACH2 more than just a regional proposal: We are a true ‘hydrogen highway’ able to start locally and quickly expand outwards to connect with other hubs across the US.”

DESCA is a core member of the MACH2 Team representing Delaware. Other core team members include:

Manny Citron – City of Philadelphia

Joseph Colella – Schuyler Energy

Elliott Gold – Philadelphia Gas Works

Michael Maitland – McCarter & English

Brian McGlinchey – McCarter & English

George Murphy – South River Maritime

Collin O’Mara – National Wildlife Foundation

Philadelphia Gas Works – Elliott Gold

University of Pennsylvania – Lee Whitaker

Steamfitters Local 420 – Jim Snell

Building Trades – Ryan Boyer

For more information on the MACH2 project and to become a member of the hydrogen hub team, individuals can contact Dora Cheatham (doracheatham@desca.net).

This article was originally posted on the DESCA website at: https://desca.net/f/delaware-southeast-pa-and-south-jersey-join-forces-for-clean-h2

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Startup302 Accepting Entries Through Feb. 24

Delaware’s Third Annual Startup302 Funding Contest Accepting Applications through February 24

Ventures with underrepresented founders will compete for share of more than $215,000 in cash grants, plus mentorship and connections


WILMINGTON, Del.  – Applications for Delaware’s third annual Startup302 funding competition are being accepted through February 24 from technology-enabled startups with at least one founding team member from an underrepresented group. Prizes include more than $215,000 in cash grants along with mentoring and networking connections such as introductions to potential investors.

Startups must be tech-enabled with at least one founder from an underrepresented group: women; people of color, including African Americans, Latin Americans and Native Americans; and members of the LGBTQ+ community – all groups whose ventures are underinvested in relative to their demographic’s percentage of overall United States population. Because Startup302 seeks to foster diverse perspectives, promote inclusive and equitable consideration and attract diverse communities of founders to the region, startups don’t have to be Delaware-based to enter.

The competition will consist of three rounds: an application submission, an evaluation round and a final live pitch round that will take place in Wilmington, Delaware, on April 27. This year’s categories are Early Stage, Life Sciences, Clean Green and Blue, FinTech and Delaware Tech-Enabled. These categories reflect Delaware’s evolving innovation and industry landscape and include the agriculture, chemistry and advanced materials sectors as well as more broadly tech areas like artificial intelligence/machine learning, big data, software as a service and esports.

“Startup302 aims to strengthen Delaware’s innovation ecosystem by improving access to funding and mentorship for underrepresented entrepreneurs,” said Noah Olson, Delaware Prosperity Partnership director of Innovation. “These founders, while ‘underrepresented’ statistically, are poised to be another generation of business leaders, both in Delaware and beyond. It’s an honor to play a small role in supporting their growth along the way.”

Startup302 is coordinated by DPP and partners from key innovation-supporting organizations. Steering committee members include representatives from First Founders, the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, True Access Capital, The Innovation Space, the Small Business Development Center and StartOut.

There is no cost to enter, thanks to Startup302’s sponsors, which include DPP, the Delaware Division of Small Business, Discover Bank, UD Horn Entrepreneurship, Delaware State University, DuPont, Highmark Delaware, FMC Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., M&T Bank, The Innovation Space, the Delaware Bioscience Association and Delmarva Power.

Contest details, the application and a video answering frequently asked questions are at startup302.org. Additional questions may be directed to DPP’s Erica Crell at ecrell@choosedelaware.com.

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About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support employers in place marketing Delaware to potential employees, highlighting Delaware as a great place to work, live and play through LiveLoveDelaware.com. In partnership with economic development partners throughout the state, the DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

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Profiles in Innovation: Hx Innovations

Profiles in Innovation – An Ongoing Series Highlighting Delaware Innovators


Hx Innovations got off to a quick start by proving that a compelling idea that addresses a real problem – in this case, letting coaches and trainers track and manage performance and improve return-to-play plans for optimal player health and safety – can gain widespread traction.

In the last few years, Hx Innovations, the Wilmington-based biotech company has been selected as Technical.ly Delaware’s 2021 Startup Business of the Year and as a member of the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation’s Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3). It’s also received funding from the National Science Foundation, $50,000 in Delaware Technology Innovation Program bridge funding and $60,000 from the Startup302 pitch competition.

Chief executive officer Nicole Homer, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in logistics and holds an MBA from Liberty University, co-founded Hx with her husband, Dr. Von Homer, who developed The Homer Technique, which pinpoints the exact muscles that are susceptible to injury. The couple’s roots run deep in Delaware. Both graduated from William Penn High School in New Castle, Nicole earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Delaware in Newark, and Von earned his doctorate and is an assistant professor at Delaware State University in Dover.

Hx’s neuromuscular technology lets coaches and trainers measure human movement analytics using artificial intelligence within a portable wireless camera, giving trainers and coaches the information they need to keep players safe and protect against sprains, strains, and joint injuries.

Hx Innovation CEO talks about Innovation in Delaware

Nicole, who was named 2022 Young Woman Professional of the Year by the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, recently shared her thoughts on innovation:

Why is Delaware a great state for innovation?

You need the support of the community to grow and develop, right? Delaware was perfect for us to scale and have the collaborations and the partnerships needed to do that. Within a hundred-mile radius of Wilmington, there are more than 1 million athletes, so our target audience is right here. There are many athletic teams, colleges and professional sporting teams within a two-hour radius that could benefit from our technology.

Delaware is just small enough to make a really big impact and has great networks here that we’ve taken advantage of. Being embedded in the community, having connections with the community already and having so much reach and access to our target customer is why we decided to be here as opposed to other places we could have chosen.

What qualities should a successful innovator have?

You need to see beyond the weeds and get out of the lab. A lot of scientists really want to perfect the science. They want to perfect the product, but you can’t cross that plane of commercialization until you put it out there in the world. We found we were using too much jargon to explain “neuroergonomics” and used our first $15,000 grant to focus on getting the marketing messaging together.

You need more than one type of marketing messaging. You need a long pitch where you can have a whole conversation about what you do and dive into those details, but then have a short and snippy, boom. Our short one is “We test your movement” while our longer one is “We use computer vision technology to collect movement and our propriety software to measure neuromotor activity to help coaches and trainers evaluate player performance and injury risk.” That’s a mouthful, but there are some people who want all that.

You have to be able to go granular or broad. You also need to be able to see where you are and who you are and then find the resources that set you apart as a business innovator as well.

What advice would you give new innovators?

Take the time to brainstorm a business plan that includes sales strategy, pricing strategy and market analytics. You can have your business plan, but then you must test that hypothesis. We didn’t take into account how long that process would take. I would encourage new innovators to take the time to really do a lot of market research and then allocate time during the pre-launch stage to test your assumptions. Also, I’d advise innovators to be extremely patient and allow yourself the grace that you’ll need to grow into whatever role you’re going to ultimately become.

Around the company, I’m known as the guardian. I’m the “no” person. I say, “Let’s look at the liability and the risk and make a plan. Let’s assess the whole thing. And my co-founder is more of a “let’s just put it out and see what happens” person. I think you need both types of people to be successful.

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City National Bank Growing in Delaware

City National Bank Plans Major Newark Expansion


NEWARK – City National Bank, one of the largest West Coast banks that’s known as the “bank to the stars,” is planning a major expansion in Delaware.

The 35th largest bank in the country with more than $95 billion in assets, City National Bank has operated a trust office in the Linden Park office complex for several years. The company recently signed a lease for 30,000 square feet in the Buccini/Pollin Group-owned Iron Hill Corporate Center near Newark, according to Justin Rowley, a senior vice president of City National.

The new space will be home to a major workforce expansion for City National, growing its headcount by more than 475% in adding 253 new positions over the next few years, including operations managers, project managers, business analysts, operations specialists and other similar positions. That hiring is expected to begin in early 2023.

About 175 of those jobs will be lower, entry-level roles, but City National is preparing a $80,000 average starting salary at the office, which is about 10% higher than the state’s median household income.

The state’s public-private economic development organization, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, has been working with City National since July on the project, and was reportedly considering other sites along the East Coast.

Geography played an important part to City National’s decision to come to Delaware, as it is equidistant to the bank’s hubs in New York and Washington, D.C., and close to the Philadelphia International Airport, which offers direct flights to Los Angeles.

Several of City National’s senior East Coast executives also work out of the current Pike Creek-area office, including Rowley, who is a Dewey Beach resident and a University of Delaware grad.

“We know the state very well. Many of the colleagues who work in our current state office have long-term and tenured experience with the state of Delaware. We know the talent and the university systems, and we know it can uniquely support our expanding growth,” Rowley told the CDF on Monday morning.

To support its expansion, the state’s job investment board, the Council on Development Finance, unanimously signed off Monday on a more than $3.53 million package of grants. That includes more than $2.75 million in a job performance grant to create the 253 jobs, $270,000 in a capital expenditure grant to support fit-out of its new offices and up to $500,000 for a workforce training grant.

The 68-year-old, Los Angeles-based bank is well-known for catering to Hollywood movie stars, helping to earn its moniker of “bank to the stars.” City National offers a full suite of personal, private and business banking, including wealth management, brokerage and leasing services, and software solutions. While supportive of customer needs, the Delaware workforce is not planned to be client-facing and focus on administrative and back-office needs, Rowley said.

Despite its roots in the City of Angels, the bank was acquired in 2015 by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the largest bank in Canada. Rowley said that while RBC is active in the management of City National, the American bank does have a large degree of autonomy in its work.

At Iron Hill Corporate Center, City National will be joining an office workforce that has seen a refresh in recent years, including the arrival of Discover’s workforce.

When asked about its decision to invest in a large office space as remote working has increased nationwide, Rowley said City National is actually seeing more of its colleagues desire a return to offices for at least a part of their work week.

“We are not finding that work-from-home is going to be a permanent fixture in the workplace and for the banking industry specifically; and we’re actually seeing a demand from people to have either an office presence or hybrid presence,” he explained. “It’s the reason why we’re looking to expand our physical presence and building a location that is new, fresh, enticing, and actually can build that collaborative work experience. So, we actually think that the expanded office presence … will help us with our recruitment.”

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times website at: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/news/city-national-expansion/

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CP Cases Moving to Delaware to Expand

Global Protective Case Manufacturer CP Cases Chooses Delaware for Relocation, Growth of U.S. Operations

WILMINGTON, Del.  – CP Cases Inc., which designs and manufactures high-performance protective cases and racks used to support industries ranging from broadcasting to defense, has chosen Frankford, Delaware, as the new site for its U.S. operations.

CP Cases USA, which was opened in 2013 by the owner of a similar company in the United Kingdom, will move from an 8,000-square-foot site in Bishopville, Maryland, to a 25,000-square-foot site in Frankford Business Park, which is located along Route 113. The company will bring nine current employees to the Sussex County location and plans to create 16 new jobs there over the next three years.

Delaware Ideal for High-Performance Protective Cases and Racks Manufacturer

“Delaware provides a great environment for small businesses, and we are glad that CP Cases chose to relocate their manufacturing facility to Frankford,” said Governor John Carney. “This investment shows that Delaware remains a leader in innovative manufacturing techniques. We are excited for CP Cases’ expansion, bringing new jobs to Sussex County.”

CP Cases had been searching for additional industrial space to serve its growing customer base, which is found in business sectors such as broadcasting and media; entertainment and live events; energy and marine; medical; and security and defense. Within the entertainment industry, the company’s customers have included musical acts such as the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Pink Floyd. Products include rack-mount transit cases, air-conditioned transit cases, Lightweight AirShip containers, camera rain covers, and rugged textile and flexible material products along with customizable industry solutions.

The new Delaware location will allow better utilization of the roto-molding process CP Cases uses to form its molded case and rack products. Natural gas is the most efficient fuel for this process, and Martin Property Development’s decision to bring natural gas to Frankford Business Park and its tenants was key to CP Cases’ decision to locate there. The new gas line – which was supported by a portion of the $1 million Site Readiness Fund grant that Martin Property Development received from the State of Delaware earlier this year – also benefits the Town of Frankford and local residents, as does the central water service Frankford Business Park is supplying them.

Such developments were made possible by cooperation among the developer, local utility companies, and Sussex County. Delaware Prosperity Partnership began assisting CP Cases with its site search after being connected with the company by Sussex County Economic Development Director William Pfaff.

“We think of economic development in terms of building a championship sports team: we’re always scouting for that next great player,” Pfaff said. “That’s what CP Cases is for Sussex County, another great player that we’ve been fortunate enough to pick up by drawing them to Delaware. Welcome to the team!”

CP Cases officials presented to Delaware’s Council on Development Finance an application for a Jobs Performance Grant of $161,610 and a Capital Expenditure Grant of $28,500 from the Delaware Strategic Fund to support the company’s investment. Distribution of grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund are dependent on the company meeting commitments as outlined to the CDF, which reviewed and approved CP Cases’s request for up to $190,110 in total grant funding.

“CP Cases is so excited to become a part of the community of Sussex County, Delaware, and appreciate the support we’ve received from Delaware and Sussex County to expand our operations,” said Peter Gill, CP Cases Inc. general manager. “We look forward to offering high-quality manufacturing jobs in the community and continue building stable long-term operations in Delaware.”

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About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support employers in place marketing Delaware to potential employees via livelovedelaware.com. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About CP Cases

CP Cases designs and manufactures high-performance, protective cases and racks used for transport, operation and storage of essential equipment in commercial and military applications. Many of their products are accredited to MIL-STD-810, rated IP65 and carry NATO stock numbers. Among the first to market in 1970s with flight cases for the live music industry, CP Cases now offers the broadest range of protective, operational transit cases for defense and security, broadcast and media, medical and scientific, offshore and many other sectors. CP Cases has over 50 years of expertise in producing cases, 19-inch rack solutions and bags, as well as an unparalleled range of in-house skill and expertise with rotomolded plastic, aluminum, laminated plywood, HPP, textiles and CNC foam machining. An extensive selection of options includes climate control (compressor and thermoelectric air conditioning units), EMC shielding, fire resistance and anti-static capabilities. CP Cases’ products are available in a wide range of standard sizes, and the company’s design team can create a custom solution to meet (almost) any application a product requires.

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Startup302 Info Session December 14, 2022

Recorded Information Session Shows Prospective Applicants How to Enter Startup302 Competition

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware’s Startup302 pitch contest recently hosted an online information session for prospective entrants to learn more about the competition’s requirements, prizes, presentation ideas and more. The 40-minute video may be viewed here.

Coordinated by Delaware Prosperity Partnership and partners from the Delaware business community, Startup302 supports entrepreneurs who need a boost for their business. Awards include cash grants, and participation benefits include mentorship opportunities and engagement with investors and key influencers.

Tech-enabled startups with at least one founder from an underrepresented group are invited to learn more about Startup302. Ventures in advanced materials, agriculture, bioscience, business/financial services, chemistry, esports and blue/green energy are especially encouraged to enter.

Underrepresented founders include women and African Americans, Latin Americans, Native Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Startup302 aims to strengthen Delaware’s innovation ecosystem by improving access to funding and mentorship for underrepresented entrepreneurs while fostering diverse perspectives, promoting inclusive and equitable consideration and attracting diverse communities of founders to the region. As a result, startups don’t have to be Delaware-based to enter.

DPP’s Startup302 partners include First Founders, the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, the University of Delaware’s Horn Entrepreneurship, True Access Capital’s Women’s Business Center, the Small Business Development Center, Delaware State University’s College of Business, PNC Bank and StartOut.

Contest details and the application are at startup302.org. Questions may be directed to DPP’s Erica Crell at ecrell@choosedelaware.com.

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About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership (choosedelaware.com) leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support employers in place marketing Delaware to potential employees, highlighting Delaware as a great place to work, live and play through its LiveLoveDelaware website. In partnership with economic development partners throughout the state, the DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

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