Maria Thompson is Entrepreneur-In- Residence for Arsenal Venture Partners. Ms. Thompson was President and CEO of T/J Technologies, Inc., a nationally recognized Michigan company for proprietary alternative energy technologies, that she and her husband, Dr. Levi Thompson, co-founded in 1991. T/J Technologies was acquired by A123Systems Inc. in 2006. Combined, the organizations represent the largest lithium-ion R&D team in North America, with world-class expertise and management, and global manufacturing operations. A123Systems is one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-power lithium-ion batteries. Applications include electric vehicles, hybrid electric and plug in hybrid vehicles, grid stabilization, power tools, defense and aerospace. A123Systems had a successful IPO in September, 2009. Maria A. Thompson ran the Government Solutions Group of A123Systems, Inc after the acquisition until she retired from A123 in 2010. She and her team worked with the DOD, DOE, the MEDC, Senators Levin and Stabenow, Congressman Dingell, Governor Granholm and Wayne County to secure over $249M in DOE grants, a pending DOE Loan, a $9M TARDEC contract, and $139M from the state of Michigan to build battery plants in Michigan. These plants will employ over 3000 people.
Under Ms. Thompson’s leadership, T/J Technologies attracted national and regional recognition. In 2008, she was honored by the Washington DC based Minority Enterprise Executive Council as one of 25 Powerful Minority Women in Business. The Small Business Foundation of Michigan honored Ms. Thompson as a Small Business Entrepreneur Extraordinaire 2008. She was chosen as one of Crain’s Detroit Business Most Influential Women for 2007. NASA Headquarters honored T/J Technologies with a “Special Recognition Award” presented by NASA Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin. T/J Technologies was also named one of “50 Companies to Watch in Michigan” and Crain's Detroit Business chose the company as one of the “20 Largest Technology-Based Companies”. Ms. Thompson was invited to speak to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business as part of the Small Business Administration’s 50th Anniversary. T/J Technologies received the Nunn/Perry Award from the Department of Defense for its ultracapacitor development with Lockheed Martin. In 2000, Ms. Thompson was named one of Metro Detroit’s Innovators by Crain’s Detroit Business. Additional recognition includes awards from NASA Glenn Research Center, the Small Business Foundation of Michigan, and The Small Business Association of Michigan.
Ms. Thompson is a member of Ann Arbor SPARK’s Board of Directors, NextEnergy’s Board of Directors, the University of Michigan Technology Transfer National Advisory Board, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute Advisory Board, The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute External Advisory Board and United Bank and Trust Washtenaw Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Greenhills School. She served for 6 years on the Advanced Technology Advisory Board for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is a former member of several non-profit organization boards. Ms. Thompson earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan Business School. Prior to starting T/J Technologies, Ms. Thompson worked at Steelcase and IBM, where she earned numerous company awards.