Program helps fund cleantech starts ups

Energy Excelerator, a national clean-energy program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy challenges, is announcing its latest cohort of 12 companies, with later-stage companies set to each receive up to $1M in funding.

Ranging from aerial spectroscopy for farmers to a new CO2 conversion technology, these companies join a portfolio of more than 50 companies who are affecting change across the energy and infrastructure systems.

With funding from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy, GE Ventures, Blackstone, power utilities in five different countries and more, Energy Excelerator issues a yearly call for infrastructure-related companies from across the globe, conducts rigorous due diligence, and eventually chooses a select class (~5 percent of applicants) to fund, train and help succeed through a vast array of partners.

Energy Excelerator’s portfolio now includes 52 companies with $352M in follow-on funding, and 27 customer demonstration projects in Hawaii and Asia Pacific. Recent highlights includes NEXTracker’s acquisition of portfolio company BrightBox Technologies; a $2.5M Series A by Ibis Networks; partnership between portfolio company WaterSmart and General Electric to develop solutions for water utilities; and most recently Blue Pillar’s $10M raise.

This 5th cohort is drawn from across the world, from Indiana to Spain. Portfolio companies are accelerated in place and do not move their headquarters, but will spend two weeks in Hawaii and one in Silicon Valley, culminating with a Demo Day held at X: The Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X). (99-second video from previous Demo Day)

The road to 100% renewable energy goes through Hawaii. With the nation’s first and only 100% renewable energy statewide mandate, highest energy prices in the country and an existing renewable mix of almost 50% on some islands, Hawaii is pushing the boundary of the new energy economy on several fronts, and is often seen as a bellwether for electric grids and services across the globe.

Energy Excelerator works with its Global Partners like Hawaiian Electric, Tokyo Electric Power Company, and others to address the challenges they are facing in a rapidly shifting world by sourcing innovative companies and then helping design and fund pilot projects. “We work deeply with our partners – from the US military to corporations to utilities – to understand their most pressing pain points. We take that intel and scan the global landscape for the most promising innovators solving those problems. The pace of energy innovation is accelerating every year, and our entrepreneurs are really windows into the future,” said Dawn Lippert, co-founder and director of Energy Excelerator.

Putting their experience to work in another capacity as a startup-utility bridge, Energy Excelerator was just last week announced as the Program Facilitator for Free Electrons, a new consortium of eight international utilities, from Dubai to Portugal, covering 73 million customers across 40 countries. Energy Excelerator will be helping to develop the startup intake process and running modules at all three week-long engagements in Silicon Valley, Europe and Singapore.

Just as this cohort is announced, Energy Excelerator is already gearing up for the next round – pre-applications for the 2018 cohort are now available here.

News item from Energy Excelerator

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