Where it's based: Commerce Township, Mich.; R&D is in Israel
When it was founded: 2009
Why it's Fierce: Inductive charging has been around for a long time, but Powermat has taken it mainstream. The company uses magnetic induction technology to wirelessly charge mobile phones and other gadgets.
The concept behind Powermat is pretty simple, which is a big part of its appeal. Users simply slip their devices into one of Power's receivers and then place it on the company's trays or mats, and the device will begin charging. The technology charges at a rate comparable to that of wired cords. Importantly, the company's technology shuts off power to a device once it detects the device is fully charged, so it doesn't waste energy (but if the battery is used it will start charging again). Powermat has receivers for use at home and a fold-up one for when users are on the go. The company made a big splash last fall, selling 750,000 units by January.
Recently, Powermat unveiled a new solution that makes the firm's receivers even sleeker. By working directly with OEMs, Powermat is now allowing users to pop out their device's battery and put the company's receiver and technology directly into the phone. The whole unit, called a power pack, will mimic the look and feel of the phone's original battery door.
The privately held firm is run by Ron Ferber, the former president of massage equipment company Homedics, and Ran Poliakine, the former CEO of Magink Display, a digital ink display company.
What's next: Beginning in June, Powermat will be offering charging solutions for the Nexus One, Research In Motions' BlackBerry Bold 9700 and other devices. The company plans to add 10-15 new devices to its lineup this year.