PICHTR Wraps Up First Lightning Excelerator And Awards Nearly $400K To Cleantech Startups

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Upon arriving in Hawaii for the inaugural Lightning Excelerator, one path of PICHTR’s dual-pathway Energy Excelerator, members of eight innovative clean energy companies enjoyed the warm weather and whale-watching season during a full and fast-paced week of cranking on their businesses. These members of four mainland-based companies and four Hawaii-based companies have now returned home, some right down the street and some to a 40-degree temperature drop. Although the week of intensive business and customer development has ended, Lightning Excelerator support rolls on with one-on-one mentoring, training and events, and almost $400K in PICHTR funding awarded to the companies.

Group with aloha and logo

The eight Lightning Excelerator companies — selected from a multinational applicant pool of cleantech startups — worked intensively for seven days in hands-on business workshops, one-on-one mentoring, industry networking, and customer discovery interviews. “The Lightning Excelerator was incredibly valuable for our company,” says Michael Pfeffer, CEO of IBiS Networks. “We went from a cool technology with big aspirations to an actual company with angel investors, a differentiated value proposition, and real customers – in just one week.” Technologies cover a range of key areas for Hawaii and the Asia Pacific, including energy efficiency, clean energy for agriculture, grid integration of renewable energy, data analytics, and sustainable transportation systems.

company logos

The next Lightning Excelerator will start accepting applications in Summer 2013. If you’re an early-stage company with a highly innovative cleantech prototype (Lightning Excelerator), or a later stage company that is interested in larger demonstrations in the Asia Pacific (Pacific Excelerator), connect with us via Twitter (@Energy_Excel) and LinkedIn and visit energyexcelerator.com — and keep in touch!

Author Bios:

Dawn Lippert brings management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. providing financial and energy analysis for the Department of Energy ARPA-E program and the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. As a project manager for HREDV, Dawn manages over $12 million invested in 10 projects covering a wide range of clean energy technologies across four of the Hawaiian Islands. She has international experience commercializing biomass technologies in rural areas of India and implementing conservation projects in Puerto Rico. Dawn is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the 2012 Class of Pacific Century Fellows, and one of Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch in 2012.

Lauren Tonokawa joined PICHTR in 2012 as an analyst for their energy programs. She brings experience working in marketing for Sopogy, a Hawaii solar technology start-up, and is a recent graduate of the University of Hawaii Shidler College of Business, graduating as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. Lauren was also an intern in the R.I.S.E. (Rewarding Internships for Sustainable Employment) program.

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