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Hoyer Visits Maryland Start-Up Company Flexel, Discusses New Make It In America Plan

COLLEGE PARK, MD – Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) visited FlexEl, a custom battery manufacturer based in College Park, Maryland, to discuss the new Make It In America plan launched last month. Founded as a startup at the University of Maryland in 2008, FlexEl is a U.S.-based tech manufacturer and has created dozens of high-skilled jobs in Prince George’s County.

“FlexEl is exactly the type of company we need to see more of – one that is innovating and creating jobs here in the U.S.,” said Congressman Hoyer. “That’s why I announced a new Make It In America plan last month to encourage entrepreneurship and the growth of start-up companies. I was pleased to tour FlexEl today and to discuss how the Make It In America plan aims to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to the tools and resources they need to be successful.”

“We are building an innovation eco-system that is dramatically expanding our network of partnerships with the public and private sector,” said Dr. Wallace Loh, President of the University of Maryland. “FlexEl, which originated with the research of two UMD professors, is a terrific example of this integration of academics and industry. Working alongside community leaders, this eco-system will drive job creation, innovation, and economic development throughout the region.”

Jean-Francois Audebert, President & CEO of FlexEl, said:“FlexEl, which originated from UMD’s research eco-system, is a testimony of how successful is the combination of engineers’ fearless ideas, the support of the UMD small business programs, the Prince George’s County and Maryland State economic development incentives, as well as the R&D funding coming from federal agencies. Since inception in 2008, the company was awarded research funding through the UMD MTech organization, MIPS programs and SBIRs contracts from the DHS and the US Navy. Flexel would not be here today if these projects had not been granted then, which resulted in growing and maturing technologies leveraged in our current commercial developments. In our new state of the art facility we have now the floor space needed to start implementing commercial production of our batteries, providing FlexEl with the opportunity to become another dynamic player in the ‘Make It In America’ initiative. The team and I are very thankful and proud to host Congressman Hoyer in our home in College Park, and to have the chance to share with him our local business story.”

In June, Rep. Hoyer announced House Democrats’ new Make It In America plan, which focuses on encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to start and keep companies here in the U.S. The plan includes four action areas: expand entrepreneurship and innovation, close the skills gap, build a 21st century infrastructure, and break down barriers to manufacturing in the U.S. Click here to learn more about the Make It In America plan.