As the new academic year dawns, the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Perot Jain TechLab (PJTL) is gearing up to launch three distinct but interconnected year-long programs: PJTL @ Mcity, PJTL Electrification, and the rebranded PJTL Climate Change, previously known as Innovation for Impact: Climate Change.

The Perot Jain TechLab series of curricular offerings provides students with unique opportunities to experience entrepreneurship by working with startup companies that are building the future, specifically in emerging technology-driven industries. This program’s enduring success showcases the profound impact of intertwining rigorous academic teachings with real-world technology applications.

The programs draw a diverse group of students from undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels with backgrounds in engineering, computer science, data analytics, and mechatronics. These students have the opportunity to lead tech projects spanning two consecutive semesters, working with post series-A startups, primed to commercialize technologies essential for the future of CAVs, vehicle electrification and carbon reduction. 

Alongside these unique working relationships, PJTL offers mentorship from the partnered startups, enriching lectures on project management and technology development acumen, and privileged access to U-M resources like Mcity and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

Two TechLab students work on the sensors of an electric vehicleThe PJTL @ Mcity program, sponsored by Ford, immerses students into the dynamic realm of autonomous transportation. Under the expert guidance of Doug Moore and Eric Wingfield, students will work with startups including Buyutech, Capoom,, Flare, Fleet Lab, and Retrospect, contributing to real-world advancements in autonomous vehicle tech.

The newly introduced PJTL Electrification, led by Jay Ellis and Alisyn Malek, takes a deep dive into the burgeoning field of vehicle electrification. Collaborating with startups such as Biliti, Electric Fish, InceptEV, LIVAQ, Marel Power, and Utilidata, students are set to learn more about the electrification revolution in the transportation sector.

Rounding out the trio is PJTL Climate Change, continuing its legacy under the leadership of Volker Sick and Ryan Waddington. This program offers an exclusive passage for students to explore sustainable, carbon-reducing technologies while collaborating with environmental startups: Cowboy Clean Fuels, Flow Aluminum, Mission Zero, Paebbl, and Skynano.

These three programs represent the Center for Entrepreneurship’s dedication to fostering an innovative environment where passionate students can collaboratively tackle the most pressing industry challenges alongside significant players in the field. As we stand at the cusp of this promising new calendar year, we anticipate witnessing groundbreaking ideas and exciting breakthroughs from our Wolverines. 

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