22 March 2017

May We Accelerate You?! Our (Very Specific) Request For Innovations

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 Elemental 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:

Energy
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

Water
Data analytics and visualization for water
Water management and conservation on the community scale
Water measurement and automation
Water-energy nexus

Mobility
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
Cybersecurity for automobiles
Cybersecurity for the internet of things
Cybersecurity solutions for infrastructure

Other
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.

Are you working on these solutions? If so, then do not delay and fill out the 90-second pre-app today! Full applications will be open April 10 – May 28.

What does it take to transform a place? Find out here.