Student team developing EV charging stations receives awards and recognition

Streamline Charging team members smile for photo

From left are Streamline Charging team members and Penn State students Jonathan Smith, Braden Ritter, Sean Magilton, Nathan Vreeland and Mark Yazemboski.

Credit: Courtesy of Jonathan Smith

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Streamline Charging LLC has received national and University-wide awards and recognition for its flexible and affordable electric vehicle (EV) charging solution. Most recently, VentureWell Accelerator’s E-Teams Program awarded the team a $20,000 grant. The team also received a $10,000 award at the Invent Penn State Inc.U Competition.  
Jonathan Smith, chief executive officer and co-founder, explained that Streamline Charging is revolutionizing EV charging with technology that can service five charging spaces per station. He learned of the grant while presenting the startup at the VentureWell OPEN conference in San Diego in March. 

“The conference was a lot of fun,” said Smith, an architectural engineering major who started at Berks and is now at University Park. “There are people from all different backgrounds; it was just great to talk to everyone.” 

Last year, Streamline Charging was among 22 national teams selected for VentureWell Accelerator E-Teams Program, which supports student ventures. The team was awarded a $5,000 pioneer grant and an entrepreneurship training workshop at the Engine, a co-working space in Boston built by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Propel is the second stage of the VentureWell Accelerator E-Teams Program, and in addition to the $20,000 grant, it provides three months of training focused on supporting the teams as they build their business model. 

Within the Invent Penn State entrepreneurship ecosystem, Streamline Charging received the second place $10,000 award from the Inc.U Competition. They were one of six student teams invited to pitch their startups and compete for awards. 

“We worked all throughout spring break,” Smith said. “It was a great experience and helped us refine our pitch and build connections with fellow Penn State entrepreneurs.” 

Earlier this year, Streamline Charging was one of nine early-stage startups accepted into the Happy Valley LaunchBox Spring 2024 FastTrack Accelerator program, which consisted of weekly group meetings, plus one-on-one mentoring from advisers and experts in business, legal, and intellectual property. Teams also had access to a suite of free tools and co-working space at Happy Valley LaunchBox located in State College. Happy Valley LaunchBox is part of the Invent Penn State initiative. 

Streamline Charging began with a small group of Penn State Berks engineering students in the college’s cornerstone engineering design course. Later, they formed a team through a mechanical engineering independent study.

The students enjoyed success at various stages through the course and through the Penn State Berks Flemming Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED) Center.

After completing the CEED Center’s Customer Discovery Lab, the team received an NSF I-Corps microgrant and a seed grant from the CEED Center VentureWell Project titled “Cross-Pollination of STEM Courses to Sustain Entrepreneur Teams Disruptive Technology Solutions.”

Members of Streamline Charging include co-founders Jonathan Smith and Nathan Vreeland and two other Berks students. The team has expanded to include several students from both Berks and University Park. Their engineering faculty mentor is Kathleen Hauser, assistant teaching professor of engineering, and their business faculty mentor is Sadan Kulturel-Konak, professor of management information systems and the director of the CEED Center.

“Penn State Berks is an amazing hub of entrepreneurial cultural and resources,” Smith said. “The Flemming CEED Center, Dr. Sadan Kulturel-Konak, and Professor Kathleen Hauser allowed us to accelerate our project through mentorship, workspace and access to grants and funding. We also never would have met many of our closest advisers and friends, including our mentors.”

What’s next for Steamline Charging? They said they plan to have a completed EV charging system ready for market by July.