It looks like A123 is updating Shaw’s old maxim for the digital age: Those who can, do; Those who can’t, run a start-up accelerator. The Waltham battery maker, emerging from bankruptcy after purchase by the Chinese Wanxiang Group, announced an accelerator today that exchanges expertise and access for equity.
Erin Ailworth reported on the news, getting a chance to catch up with Mujeeb Ijaz, A123’s chief technology officer.
“As we rebirth the company, we have to find ways in which we create sustainable business models,” he told her. “We can’t have investments without returns.”
A123’s rise and fall was held up as a poster child for government investments in doomed green-tech investments, as Ailworth has meticulously detailed for the Boston Globe.
So it isn’t surprising that the major response was: Seriously?
JUST IN: A123 is forming technology incubator -- seriously ... fb.me/2t3pBuDPR— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) May 1, 2013
That anyone is surprised at anything coming out of A123 these days might be the most surprising part. Though for the Herald, maybe the incredulous take is just part of its own efforts to be green and recycle headlines:
A123 Systems changes name to B456 (seriously): Embattled lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems is changing it... bit.ly/10Zwlrn— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) March 29, 2013
So what do you think? Does A123 bring something new and valuable to battery-centric entrepreneurs, or is this just a desperate attempt at pulling in outside innovation the company can’t do itself?