OutcomesOverviewWorkshop AgendaContributors

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The Manufacturing 101: An Education and Training Curriculum for Hardware Entrepreneurs report played a key part in developing the Build4Scale effort at the Department of Energy. Build4Scale helps train Cleantech entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of manufacturing, providing them with the tools and information they need to bring promising energy solutions to market.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory led the development of the training for Cleantech entrepreneurs and partnered with a range of organizations. Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, David Friedman, announced the Build4Scale program at the MForesight National Summit on September 29, 2016.

Key Recommendations

The “Manufacturing 101” curriculum is built around four phases:

Engage: Entrepreneurs take stock of what they know and what they don’t know, assessing the readiness of their prototypes and the challenges inherent in manufacturing.

Educate: Through general training and course materials, entrepreneurs learn the language of manufacturing and best practices for avoiding common pitfalls in bringing production to scale.

Enhance: Moving from general training into specialized coaching and support, entrepreneurs work with mentors and experts in hands-on workshops and customized sessions.

Execute: Working with product design firms, suppliers, and manufacturers, entrepreneurs apply their newfound knowhow to scale-up production.


The final version of the Manufacturing 101: An Education and Training Curriculum for Hardware Entrepreneurs report was released at the 2016 MForesight National Summit where 120+ attendees from industry, academia, and government heard about the recommendations. As mentioned above, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, David Friedman, announced the Build4Scale program at the Summit saying,

…the Manufacturing 101: An Education and Training Curriculum for Hardware Entrepreneurs report developed by MForesight was key in helping us designing Build4Scale.

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The goal of the Manufacturing 101 workshop is to develop an effective method for training hardware entrepreneurs in manufacturing so they can skillfully bring their products to market. Many entrepreneurs lack an understanding of how to scale their innovations from prototype to solutions that can be manufactured at-scale. This barrier also prevents entrepreneurs from showing the manufacturability of their innovations to potential strategic partners, limiting their access to capital. Learning the essentials of manufacturing will allow entrepreneurs to transform their pilot-scale prototypes into products that can be successfully manufactured in large quantities.

The key objectives of the workshop are to:

  1. Develop an outline of Manufacturing 101 training for hardware startups including:
    • A list of recommended topics for training modules.
    • An outline of the content recommended for inclusion in each module.
    • A set of relevant case studies (of Cleantech startups, if possible) that demonstrate successful (or unsuccessful) scale-up of a product/business.
  2. Prioritize the training modules from most basic (content every hardware entrepreneur must know) to more specialized topics.
  3. Recommend subject matter experts and organizations/groups to develop modules.
  4. Recommend training delivery method(s).

Thank you to the workshop participants!

June 17, 2016
Ann Arbor, MI

08:00 AM


08:30 AM

Workshop Agenda & Purpose

08:45 AM

Cleantech Hardware Entrepreneurs: Who are we attempting to help with this program and why

09:00 AM


09:15 AM

Presentation: Cleantech manufacturing types, case studies, and unique needs

Dan Radomski, Chief Strategy Officer, Optimal, Inc.

09:45 AM

Group Discussion

Scope of the workshop

10:15 AM


10:30 AM

Breakout 1

Identify basic and specialized modules

11:15 AM


Merge module selection from both breakout tables

11:30 AM

Breakout 2

Topics for training modules and available software tools

12:15 PM

Group Discussion

Summary and discussion of course content.

12:30 PM


1:30 PM

Breakout 3

Identify delivery methods

2:30 PM


2:45 PM

Group Discussion

Final recommendation for program delivery method. Identify content-providers, experts and other resources.

3:30 PM

Wrap Up and Next Steps

Dan Radomski, Optimal Inc., is the Chief Strategy Officer of Optimal Inc., an innovative group of small businesses and startups focused on reverse engineering, competitive benchmarking, automotive vehicle engineering and lightweighting technologies. He leads strategy, business development and commercialization efforts for all three companies located in Plymouth and Ann Arbor, MI. Mr. Radomski was previously Vice President of Industry and Venture Development at NextEnergy, an energy and transportation technology incubator located in Detroit, MI, and was also an instructor for I-Corps Energy & Transportation Program sponsored by Department of Energy (DOE) and ARPA-E leading recruitment of participants, secured over 50 industry mentors, customization of program curriculum. Mr. Radomski was also responsible for industry outreach, market research, value chain analysis and technology road mapping of several energy market segments including power electronics, energy storage, energy efficiency, smart grid and renewables.

Brian W. Anthony is the Director of the Master of Engineering in Manufacturing (MEngM) Program and Co-Director of the Medical Electronics Device Realization Center (MEDRC) at MIT. Dr. Anthony previously served as the Director of the Singapore MIT Alliance Manufacturing Systems and Technology Program. For these programs, he developed education-with-industry partnerships with both small and multi-national corporations in the U.S. and Singapore. Dr. Anthony defined and built the MEngM program’s structure for the development and execution of company-based projects.

Through the end of 2015, Dr. Anthony served as Faculty Lead for Education and Deputy Director of the MIT Skoltech Initiative. He has over 20 years of commercial, research, and teaching experience in product realization.

Mark L. Ellis is a Senior Associate at Munro & Associates, Inc. and has over 20 years of executive leadership experience. Mr. Ellis has expertise in international negotiation, supplier consolidation, automation and machine tool systems, and cost reduction practices.

Prior to joining Munro & Associates, Inc., Mr. Ellis held a position as an independent consultant providing services in the area of battery and battery pack production, equipment, process development, and manufacturing cost models. He attended Rockford College where he participated in the American Management Association’s leadership degree program, and the University of Wisconsin for Business Administration and Mechanical Engineering.

Daniel Luria is an economist and the principal of Occupy Dan, LLC. Occupy Dan performs contract work for public, non-profit, and progressive private sector organizations in the areas of industrial policy and its evaluation, fuel economy and emissions regulation, energy policy, and automotive sector trends and sourcing. Until June 2012, Mr. Luria was the VP for Strategy & Measurement and Research Director at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC).

Mr. Luria has co-authored three books and has published articles in the Harvard Business Review, Challenge, Research Policy, and the International Review of Applied Economics. He holds a BA from the University of Rochester, an MA from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts.

Micaelah Morrill is the Director of the Manufacturing Initiative at Greentown Labs, the largest clean tech incubator in the United States. In her role, she has developed a unique program to connect startups and manufacturers to help promote local commercialization and relationship building. Ms. Morrill sits on the boards of the Political Science Advisory Board at UMass Amherst and the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), serves as co-chair of the UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) board and has a BA from UMass Amherst and a Master’s in Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning from Tufts University. 

David Ollila is the Founding Director of Invent@NMU. A life-long inventor and entrepreneur with a portfolio of 12 patents, Mr. Ollila founded multiple startups across several categories of products and services. Most notably, he was the first mover in the now multi-billion-dollar consumer electronic helmet camera category. He is a TEDx speaker on boot-strapped business practice, and was twice recognized by President Obama; once for establishing a company in a rural area that optimizes modern information technology, and once for manufacturing physical products in the United States. Mr. Ollila received his Bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University.

Peter Russo is the growth and innovation program manager at Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP). Prior to joining the MassMEP, Mr. Russo founded four start-up ventures based on innovative consumer products: The Real Boss, LLC; American-Craft.com; New Approach Designs, LLC; and New Approach Development, LLC. He has created, licensed and sold hundreds of products and personally holds 16 patents. Mr. Russo has an MBA and BS from Babson College. 

Jason Schug is Vice President of Ricardo Strategic Consulting. He has executive responsibility for Ricardo Strategic Consulting’s HEV/PHEV/BEV benchmarking program and all cost analysis programs. Mr. Schug has 21 years of experience in clean transportation and automotive engineering, and has led 10 automotive cost analysis programs over the last 4 years. Previous to Ricardo, Mr. Schug worked on product development for Vision Climate Control, and was a manufacturing engineer for Ford Motor Company. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Cheryl Tulkoff has over 20 years of experience in electronics manufacturing focusing on failure analysis and reliability. She has had extensive experience in training others, and is a published author and a senior member of both ASQ and IEEE. She is also a Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE). Ms. Tulkoff earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) from the University of Texas at Austin.

Department of Energy Workshop Participants

Johanna Wolfson is the Director of Technology-to-Market in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In this position, she leads efforts to reduce barriers and inefficiencies in the U.S. innovation system in service of getting promising clean energy technologies to market. The Technology-to-Market group helps to launch entrepreneurs and new businesses out of universities and National Labs, support early-stage clean energy businesses with funding and incubator services, provides small businesses with technical support at National Labs, and positions startup companies for scale-up. Dr. Wolfson has a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from MIT, where she conducted research on photo-induced solid-state dynamics.

Brenna Krieger is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow, and is designing and implementing public-private partnerships to increase U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing and bring innovative clean energy technologies to market. Prior to joining the Technology-to-Market team, Dr. Krieger was in the DOE Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative. She completed a Ph.D in Biophysics from Harvard University, and received a B.S. in Physics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Eli Levine leads the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI) to develop and leverage strategic partnerships to advance U.S. manufacturing. In this role, he is spearheading the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) effort to increase U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing clean energy technologies by boosting energy productivity and leveraging low-cost domestic energy resources and feedstocks. Mr. Levine is a graduate of Washington University School of Law and Cornell University.

Patrick Dempsey is Director of Strategic Engagements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California. He has over 25 years of experience delivering National Laboratory capabilities to the nation and industry. In his current role he develops partnerships that leverage the capabilities of industry and leading academic institutions to advance LLNL’s science and technology efforts. Patrick is a registered professional mechanical engineer in the state of California, received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Columbia University.

John S. Taylor is the Group Leader of Precision Systems and Manufacturing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His past projects include satellite-based telescopes, optics for high energy lasers, targets and optical elements for the National Ignition Facility, and production cost analyses for precision components. He led a multi-national-lab team who designed and constructed the world’s first full-field diffraction-limited imaging systems for EUV lithography in support of the chip industry’s evolution to next generation technologies. Dr. Taylor is an adjunct professor and member of the graduate faculty at the Center for Precision Metrology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a member of the ASTM F42 Committee on additive manufacturing, ASME, OSA, euspen, Past President of ASPE, and Fellow of SPIE. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.