Published on March 23rd, 2017 | by Elemental Excelerator0
May We Accelerate You?! Our (Very Specific) Request For Innovations
March 23rd, 2017 by Elemental Excelerator
Our mission is to transform communities through innovation. Every year, we scour the globe in search of entrepreneurs developing creative solutions in energy, water, agriculture, cybersecurity and transportation.
In a few short weeks, on April 10, applications will open for Energy Excelerator’s 2018 cohort, and we’ll be looking to support 12–15 companies, who are anywhere between Seed and Series C. If you’ve taken your idea, built a prototype and assembled a team around it, congratulations — you’re eligible to apply! We want to take your technology, team, and traction to the next level of growth at an accelerated pace.
To explain how we do that, it might be helpful to look at our program through the eyes of our Global Partners: GE Ventures, Tokyo Electric Power Company, Vector, First Philippine Holdings, Enel Green Power, Hawaiian Electric Industries, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Navy. These partners have provided funding to our program for two key reasons:
1. Lead Gen: They want access to our pipeline of applicants and portfolio companies.
2. Demos: We go well beyond due diligence for investment. We fund projects with real-world customers that vet technologies and business models in a real-world setting.
Beyond our basic requirements, what kind of companies are we looking for? To answer this question, we need to look at how we search for and find top applicants. Our team pounds the pavement at conferences, digs into industry news, and, most of all, we tap our communities for intelligence. Why this emphasis on communities? We believe communities and, more specifically the people within these communities, are the units of measure for innovation that can transform the places we call home — sort of a user-centered design approach. We like to call it place-based innovation.
All these conferences, conversations, and insider intel boil down to a ridiculous spreadsheet of companies that Ramsay, our head of applicant pipeline, uses to track, hound, stalk and admire companies.
But… we have needs — and there are gaps — and some of them are unfulfilled! To solve this problem, we reverse engineer our process and, in this way, we present to you and your networks this “Request for Innovation.”
This year, we’re especially excited about companies in these areas:
– Design for efficiency and buildings
– Data analytics and visualization for energy
– Tools supporting community solar
– Virtual power plants
– Grid stabilization and grid services
– Geothermal-related technologies
– Innovations in resource identification, drilling, and energy production that could be applied to geothermal energy
– Data analytics and visualization for water
– Water management and conservation on the community scale
– Water measurement and automation
– Water-energy nexus
– Non-car or rideshare mobility options
– Peak traffic alleviation
– Increasing access to transportation for disadvantaged communities
– Data solutions for mobility and transportation
– Technologies to support self-driving vehicles
– Electric vehicle charging solutions and new approaches for charging
– Vehicle to grid
– Greening aviation and heavy freight
Food + Ag
– Agriculture-energy nexus
– Precision agriculture
– Scalable agricultural technology
– Creative ways to increase crop yields
–Cybersecurity for automobiles
– Cybersecurity for the internet of things
– Cybersecurity solutions for infrastructure
– Blockchain and other financial innovations
– Robotics applied to the sectors above
– Advanced manufacturing and automation related to new technology and/or infrastructure
– Machine learning applied to energy, water, transportation, or agriculture
– Solutions targeting underserved communities
– Cost reduction for construction and infrastructure
– Materials, upcycling, and remanufacturing
Mahalo to our friends at YCombinator for inspiring this idea. Their #1 most wanted startup vertical for two years running? Energy.
What does it take to transform a place? Find out here.