Pursuant to our mission of helping Hawaii and the world achieve 100% clean energy, each year we spend a week with our portfolio companies in Silicon Valley, culminating with our flagship event: Energy Excelerator Interactive. It’s always a great event, but this year brought a record number of investors and companies together. This event (and this sector) is hot!
Energy Excelerator Interactive by the numbers:
150+ investors, corporates, and strategics
28 Energy Excelerator companies from our 2016, 2015, and 2014 cohorts gave 1-2 minute presentations
$241 M of investment opportunity in the next 18 months (after having already raised $227M of follow-on funding)
Our Top 5 Moments:
1. Let’s lead off with our favorite moment from Energy Excelerator Interactive. At the end of 2015 one of our portfolio companies, Ballast Energy, decided to wind down operations. Their CEO, Bryan Ho, shared a lesson learned.
“It comes back to this fundamental tension there is being a founder. You need to be unrealistically optimistic because there are a million reasons why you could fail. But at the same time, you have to be an incredibly cynical person. You need to want to kill your own idea. You have to want to poke holes in it.” – Bryan Ho
2. Introducing our newest cohort is only half of why we host this event each year. We also like to bring back our past cohorts to update you on the progress they have made. Many of them have gone on to raise follow-on funding from strategic investors and land customers & partnerships to help them scale.
“We closed our Series A in Q1 2016.” – Lisa Laughner, Go Electric (2015 Go-to-market; Go Electric is developing a patented micro grid technology that seamlessly integrates grid power with renewable energy, battery storage, and generators)
“We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with a publicly-traded, Canadian company.” – Alex Tiller, Autowatts (2016 Go-to-market; Autowatts allows homeowners to skip the solar sales pitch and go solar online in just minutes)
“One, we signed Google as a customer. And two, the U.S. Department of Energy selected kWh Analytics for its Orange Button Initiative to build clear data standards and transparency for the solar industry.” – Rich Matsui, CEO kWh Analytics (2015 Demonstration; kWh Analytics combines the solar industry’s largest independent database of solar asset performance with“Big Data” tools to generate actionable analytics for solar stakeholders)
3. Our newest corporate partners, Vector, joined us from New Zealand. Their head of innovation, Brian Ryan, shared what innovative technologies are being deployed on New Zealand’s electrical grid.
“Innovation is core to Vector’s growth. Energy Excelerator and its pipeline of innovation will help us test and scale new solutions,” says Simon Mackenzie, CEO of Vector in early January when we announced our partnership. Brian echoed a similar message.
4. You heard from our first cybersecurity and water companies. Lastwall, GOmeter, and Watersmart round out our multi-sector portfolio of the most innovative energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and cybersecurity companies.
5. It is appropriate to hold Energy Excelerator Interactive at X because, for Google, this is where innovation starts. So last, and definitely not least, a huge mahalo to X for their hospitality!
What’s next? Energy Excelerator CEO Summit and VERGE Hawaii. See you in Honolulu!