Detroit-based NextEnergy, a technology accelerator, Wednesday announced the appointment of Jim Saber to president and CEO, effective March 2. Saber led NextEnergy’s business development and technology commercialization efforts since 2004. Saber replaces Jean Redfield, who will rejoin Fordsell Machine Products, a precision machining manufactory firm she co-owns with her husband. She will continue to work in the entrepreneurial ecosystem serving as faculty for the national labs’ innovation training courses.
“When Jean joined NextEnergy, she agreed to spend three to five years to help elevate NextEnergy to the next level,” says Maria Thompson, board chair for NextEnergy. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Jean for her accomplishments at NextEnergy. She has led NextEnergy’s evolution from a state economic development resource to a nationally-recognized incubator and accelerator for energy and mobility technologies.”
Additionally, Angella Durkin is to be promoted to the newly-formed role of COO from her former position of vice president of finance and administration.
“NextEnergy is looking to continue its momentum under Jim’s leadership,” says Thompson. “Jim has extensive experience, passion, and relationships in the energy and automotive industries. Combined with Angella’s strategic operational insights and attention to detail, they are strong choices to lead NextEnergy into the future.”
Since 2012, NextEnergy has focused on innovation, connecting start-ups and research teams to market opportunities with accelerator programs, technology challenges, market pilots, and demonstrations. Additionally, the company has become a nationally recognized member of the Incubatenergy Network, has administered two NextChallenge: Smart Cities technology challenges, and earned a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy (NIICE). NextEnergy also earned two Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) grants.
“In 2012, we developed a five-year plan, and we’re proud to have accomplished the goals we set for the organization,” says Saber. “We look forward to continuing our impact as an innovation center by leveraging our relationships and building upon our strengths to attract and support tech-based businesses and deploy energy and mobility solutions in Detroit and beyond.”
NextEnergy was founded in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is an innovation center focused on advanced energy, mobility, and built environment technologies to enable smarter and more sustainable cities. Since its inception, NextEnergy has worked with more than 400 companies, universities, federal agencies, and philanthropic organizations to drive more than $1.5 billion in advanced energy and mobility technology investments.