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Home > News > The A123 Story: How a Battery Company Jumpstarted its Business

January 24th, 2008

The A123 Story: How a Battery Company Jumpstarted its Business

Which is why I decided to stop by MIT's Stata Center last Thursday to hear what Bart Riley, one of A123's three founders, had to say. His talk, part of MIT Energy Futures Week, was called "A123 Systems: from nanotech to reality." Which implies, perhaps, that things didn't start out in reality. And, as you'll see, that kind of turns out to be the case. Riley is a die-hard engineer, with some 40 patents to his credit. But, reining in his obvious desire to talk technical turkey, he proceeded to unfold a fascinating drama that kept the audience, roughly 60 people who filled the small Stata classroom to capacity, riveted in their chairs. His account amounted to a firsthand case study of entrepreneurship—telling how a little startup that was smart about picking employees, investors, and partners got going around one idea that didn't really work out, and how it responded to that challenge to become a potentially industry-changing success story.


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