Energy Excelerator, an accelerator program for cleantech startups based in Hawaii, has picked its 2015 class of 17 companies, which will receive a total of $5 million in funding.
The program says its new cohort was selected from hundreds of companies in grid technologies, transportation, agriculture, water, energy efficiency, and infrastructure resilience. Last year, Energy Excelerator received an investment of $30 million from the Navy’s Office of Naval Research under the Asia Pacific Technology Education program, which tripled the funding the program has operated on since its launch in 2010. The investment was a significant boon for the program because cleantech funding has dropped because of its large capital requirements and relatively slow returns.
Since receiving its funding from the U.S. Navy, Energy Excelerator has gone on to raise over $55 million in follow-on funding. The program has two tracks for startup. For companies that already have strong customer traction, Energy Excelerator invests up to $1 million to develop a project in Hawaii or the Asia Pacific. For startups with that are looking to test go-to-market strategies, Energy Excelerator invests $75,000 and introduced them to mentors, investors, and strategic customers.
The companies in this year’s class are:
- Bandwagon connects passengers to share rides and taxi fares through their mobile app.
- Bidgely tells homeowners how much energy each appliance uses by extracting energy signatures – without the need for lots of hardware sensors. (TechCrunch profiled Bidgely last year when it received funding from Khosla Ventures)
- BrightBox Technologies improves HVAC performance and comfort, and lowers operating costs, through optimization software.
- BrightLight Systems combines energy efficient lighting and automation.
- Edisun Heliostats develops low cost concentrated solar power with built-in storage using rocks as a storage medium.
- Effortless Energy offers free home energy upgrades at no cost to customers.
- FreeWire Technologies combines robotics and energy storage to create a network of mobile electric vehicle chargers.
- Go Electric delivers the next generation of microgrids for facilities that need to attach or detach to utility power at a moment’s notice.
- Infinite Invention supports the integration of solar on the electric grid through plug-and-play solar connection and control.
- Kunoa Cattle Company enables large-scale local food production powered by renewables.
- kWh Analytics reduces financial risk and enables solar financing through analysis of asset performance.
- Prota Culture produces biodiesel and animal feed from organic waste.
- Rebound Technology turns supermarket freezers into batteries.
- Ridescout aggregates public, private, and social transportation options into one mobile app.
- Shifted Energy creates a virtual power plant of electric water heaters to store excess renewable energy and deliver demand response.
- Spider9 develops smart controllers that make large battery systems more reliable and profitable.
- TransitScreen synthesizes all sustainable transportation options in real time into one screen.