CLASS 1 SUMMER 2021
Meet the first class of 12 startups accelerating the energy transition
The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator was launched in Summer 2021 to increase the likelihood of success for early-stage startups advancing solutions for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable future. Read more about our founding story.
The first application season for the accelerator drew interest from a wide array of startups, both early-stage and later-stage—a testament to the growing focus on Houston’s role in the energy transition. Startups applied from 14 states and a total of eight countries. Impressive applicants brought forward a range of clean energy solutions to be commercialized, some already generating revenue, making the selection process very competitive.
12 startups were selected to participate in Class 1 of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator.
CLASS 1 STARTUP UPDATES
- Arolytics, Class 1 Clean Energy Accelerator startup, named a "Rising Star" at the SPE ATCE Startup Village Energy Startup Competition
- Criterion Energy Partners receives strategic investment from Patterson-UTI, and receives DOE grant supporting community-driven energy transition with Baytown.
- Renewell Energy receives DOE grant. Read more about the project.
- CoFlow Jet entered a joint ownership agreement with NASA to develop and commercialize deflected slip-stream technology.
- SeebeckCell joins Chevron Technology Ventures Catalyst Program. Read more in the press release.
- Mote moves forward with first Carbon Removal Plant to convert wood waste to hydrogen. Read more in the press release.
- Kanin Energy partners with Tallgrass Energy to develop four waste heat to power projects in Ohio and Indiana.
- Arolytics, secures $375K funding SDTC and partners with SPL to improve delivery of Lead Detection and Repair (LDAR) data to existing SPL customers.
CLASS 1 STARTUPS
3E Nano is a Toronto-based nanotechnology company that has developed an earth-friendly, high performance solar energy control coating for polymeric substrates.
With proprietary algorithms and emissions modelling, arolytics has developed a SaaS platform that optimizes how the oil and gas sector tracks, manages, and discloses greenhouse gas emissions for compliance and ESG purposes, saving companies up to 40% on their associated fugitive measurement costs.
CoFlow Jet Wind Turbines is developing transformative ultra-high efficiency (capacity factor) low energy cost wind turbines to expand wind energy usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Hydrodine Catalytics has developed a zero emissions cleantech that eliminates the need for fuel gas, enables gas producers to capture Offset Carbon Credits, lowers CAP/OPEX, provides power at remote natural gas well sites, and improves operator safety.
Kanin Energy is a turnkey developer and innovative investor of waste heat to power projects—helping heavy industry monetize waste heat and decarbonize operations.
Mote is developing carbon-negative biomass gasification factories to supply customers with hydrogen.
Power HV's monitoring sensors and bushings help oil processing plants like refineries and transportation improve safety from methane and fire while reducing T&D losses on the electricity grid by 1% by improving transformer energy efficiency by 30%.
Renewell Energy converts idle oil and gas wells into the lowest cost, most flexible, highest GHG abating energy storage devices in the world.
SeebeckCell Technologies helps petroleum and gas industries and emerging markets such as crypto mining, data centers & BEVs solve energy wastage by integrating SCT's modules into thermal management systems, and enables 4x higher (power per weight) ratio, greener production, and scalable solution to address climate change.
Vellex Computing Formerly Groundstate) provides a software intelligence platform for advanced analytics and computation that enables more resilient, secure and sustainable grids.
CLASS 1 RECAP
With an eye towards expediting growth, reducing risk and accelerating market adoption, we’re helping founders better position themselves and their startups for success. Founders have successfully completed six weeks at the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator.Building their networks: Our network has helped founders make connections, refine business models, shore up deficiencies and more. We estimate more than 100 mentor engagements have been initiated in the first six weeks.Learning through curriculum: Speakers have covered best practices around leadership, culture, team dynamics, product development, corporate governance, legal compliance, marketing, branding and communications and product pricing and sales—totaling nearly 30 sessions. Cross cohort support: Meeting weekly in their "pods"—small groups of 3-4 startups ranging in stage and tech—Class 1 is proving the value of cross-cohort learning. Meaningful connections and new friends have been made that will provide ongoing social and professional support.
More info on Class 1 is in our latest newsletter.
REWATCH DEMO DAY
Class 1 of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy was delivered virtually, kicking off June 28th and concluded with a virtual* Demo Day on Thursday, September 16th. The demo day was an opportunity to learn more about these solutions, how you can engage with the startups and for deal flow for the investor community.
*Demo Day was originally scheduled to coincide with the in-person 19th Annual Energy Tech Venture Forum. Due to the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, the forum has been postponed to January 27, 2022. The event brings together more than 700 members of the energy industry including investors, corporations and the broader energy community. All CEA startups are invited back to pitch and participate in Office Hours in January.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
All of our startups include at least two active founders or co-founders.
While we are looking for early-stage companies, startups need to be officially registered or legally incorporated as a business. Companies with a working prototype, MVP or have conducted initial market validation were prioritized. The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator is best suited for startups looking to grow quickly within 12-18 months after completing the accelerator and are looking to raise significant capital.
Startups were selected based on our expertise and ability to support their needs and the following criteria:
- Innovation: concept quality, creativity, feasibility, uniqueness
- Market: landscape, customer discovery, competition
- Strategy: business model, value propositions, economics
- Viability: scalability, funding ability, sustainability
- Capability: founder skill sets, coachability, adaptability
- Collective Experience: is the founding team well-rounded?
The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator is for early-stage startups that contribute to significant energy efficiency improvements, are developing energy derived from renewable, zero-emissions sources or are curbing the environmental impact of all types of energy production, distribution or usage, or enabling progress toward net zero carbon.
CLASS 1 XiRs
The XiR supports early stage clean energy startups through key milestone development and enables access across our network of advisors and service providers that enable progress toward commercialization. Each XiR had a "pod" of startups which they worked with weekly.
Michael Evans worked in various sectors of the energy industry for over thirty years, including ten years at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). For over twelve years he mentored energy-related tech startups while supporting the Houston Technology Center. Mike successfully launched 3 startups, including 2 hardware-based companies. He has been an instructor in entrepreneurship at Rice University and has worked with 3 NSF I-Corps startups. Mike’s expertise covers all aspects of early stage company development.
Kevin is an advocate and leader of the energy transition, co-founding the Renewable Energy Alliance the first trade group for the industry in Houston. He is the President of Energy Capital of the Future, a consulting practice in partnership with GrowthX, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The company advises startups on go-to-market strategies, and energy transition market intelligence reports for larger organizations. Kevin is a U.S. Army combat veteran and serves as a Mentor with several Houston startup development organizations, including Bunker Labs, ImpactHUB, Greentown Labs, The Cannon, Capital Factory, Rice University, and The Ion.
Caroline is a geologist and energy resources leader with experience in exploring and developing oil and gas resources worldwide, including the US, West Africa, Caribbean and Caspian regions. As an experienced project manager, Caroline has helped teams to identify new business opportunities, and develop and execute billion-dollar projects. She is a strategic advisor, with experience in business analysis and reporting. Caroline enjoys sharing her interest in STEM education with her two young daughters and by volunteering with public schools and community groups.