Eight months on, having spanned three continents, the Free Electrons 2019 cohort moves to Lisbon on September 16 th for the third and final module of this year’s edition of the world’s first global energy accelerator programme.
As well as providing an opportunity for the participating start-ups to work closely with utilities, mentors and other partners and resources in order to jump-start their company’s growth. The module will reveal which of the companies will be crowned “Free Electrons World’s Best Energy Startup” and take home the $200,000 prize.
Since we co-founded Free Electrons in 2017, it has proven to be a tremendous catalyst for accelerating change for the participating energy utilities. This year’s edition has been no different thanks to the collaborative spirit and open-mindedness of the 10 participating utilities and the quality of the participating start-ups. Free Electrons is a truly unique programme; focusing intently on deal facilitation and pilots, later stage start-ups are given unparalleled access to utilities - often working in close cooperation themselves - to help them scale and enter new markets in all corners of the globe.
The most successful Free Electrons ever
As we look forward to Lisbon and the final installment of this year’s programme, we look back on the journeys that brought the start-ups and utilities here. To date, the innovation injected into the utilities and growth achieved by the starts-ups this year has surpassed all previous editions of Free Electrons.
This year drew 481 applications from start-ups in 62 different countries focusing on all aspects of energy, including: energy management (18%), IoT & digitisation (14%), energy generation (14%) and smart grids (9%). Of the applicants, just 30 who were selected to join the bootcamp phase of the programme.
During the bootcamp in Dublin, utilities got to meet the start-ups and understand the potential application of their innovations to their businesses. For the start-ups, it was a fantastic opportunity, not only to speak directly with 10 global companies, but to test their business cases on a global platform and collect valuable feedback about their products, features and roadmaps. At the end of an intensive three days, the start-ups presented their viable pilot cases.
From the 30 start-ups at bootcamp, 15 were selected to continue to Module 1 in Columbus Ohio. Here the utilities and start-ups were matched and 27 pilots were announced to apply their solutions to the utilities’ business challenges.
The 15 start-ups selected were: Akselos SA, Ambi Labs, CARTO, DEXMA Sensors, Energyworx, Enging - Make Solutions, Envelio, ev.energy, GridBeyond, Heila Technologies, Hygge Power, Save 2 Compete, sensewaves, Solandeo and WePower Network.
For more on Module 1: