Tech startup gets verbal nod from Warren, Sharkey

Published 12:07 am Sunday, April 13, 2014

Warren and Sharkey counties lent some support in recent weeks to a tech startup looking to have a presence in Rolling Fork.

Mackinac Technology Company, begun in Grand Rapids, Mich., have secured resolutions of support from each county’s Board of Supervisors. The firm is developing energy-efficient thermal insulation.

The business employs fewer than 10 at the moment, but seeks assistance through the Mississippi Development Authority to establish a storefront on Maple Street, off 61 North in Rolling Fork.

“It would greatly help (Sharkey County) if they could get that,” Warren County Board of Supervisors President Bill Lauderdale said this week as a resolution passed the full board. Sharkey Board President Billy Newsome had contacted officials here about passing a measure to show praise for the fledgling firm, Lauderdale said.

Later in the week, the company pitched a demonstration to MDA officials in the hopes the state remains interested in the project, company president John Slagter said.

In 2013, the company emerged from 60 entries to win the first annual DTE Energy E-Challenge for Energy Efficiency Competition. The entry, “A Retrofit Insulation for Windows”, was tested by Oakland (Mich.) University and was praised for its low-cost and high efficiency rating. Also last year, the company won a $149,441.25 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a film that reduces solar glare for riders and drivers of transit buses.

Four years earlier, the firm was awarded $149,991 from the federal stimulus law to develop insulation for windows on buildings.