Before you dive into the companies, three characteristics of the cohort stood out to us:
- We are leaning into three notable trends: innovative solutions in the application of machine learning to energy and mobility systems, the commercial application of peer-to-peer energy sharing, and the expansion of energy and water innovations to underserved populations, such as renters.
- Our 2018 cohort is the most geographically diverse to date. 42% of the companies are headquartered internationally (check out the visual below). This mirrors the geographic diversity of Elemental Excelerator’s Global Advisory Board. Public and private partners – in addition to the U.S. Navy – include global utilities and technology companies from Japan, Hawaii, South Korea, Europe, New Zealand, Philippines, and the U.S. mainland.
- Today, the 2018 cohort is gathered in Honolulu, Hawaii with project collaborators and global partners (stay tuned for highlights and key learnings coming next week). We are witnessing the magic of pairing innovative entrepreneurs with passionate changemakers in our community.
And with that, it’s our pleasure to introduce Elemental Excelerator’s 2018 cohort (data nerds, keep scrolling)!
Buoy | Smart water leak detection and control for homes
Why do we love them? Within five years, water bills will be unaffordable in 40% of U.S. households, underscoring the need for families to be able to understand where they’re using water and how to control it. Buoy’s smart device attaches to a home’s water line and sends water usage data to a mobile app. The app analyzes the information and presents it in a visual dashboard identifying water use by appliance (e.g., washing machine, shower, hot water heater), giving homeowners an easy-to-understand, real-time picture of their water use.
Blyncsy | Big data meets location analytics for the transportation grid
Why do we love them? Honolulu is one of the most traffic-congested cities in the U.S. Blyncsy is taking a systems approach to help solve traffic problems. Rather than focusing on optimizing individual vehicles, they are focusing on optimizing the transportation grid as a whole. Blyncsy installs sensors on street poles and other infrastructure that anonymously collect movement patterns. Their software analyzes that data to provide actionable insights and optimize the flow of traffic.
Swiftly | Seamless and connected urban mobility
Why do we love them? Swiftly enables the use of real-time data to help transit agencies make critical infrastructure decisions to efficiently move people. Swiftly is the creator of Transitime, the most advanced passenger information system on the market. Transitime monitors the real-time and historical movements of buses and other public transportation vehicles to predict arrival and departure times more accurately than existing systems. Swiftly has deployed in over 30 cities worldwide.
Signol | Behavioral science to save aviation fuel
Why do we love them? Research suggests that improving the decisions of airline captains can cut an airline’s fuel use up to 20%. Signol’s software analyzes pilots’ fuel consumption and delivers information that incentivizes pilots to reach fuel-efficiency targets. Signol completed a first-ever field experiment and case study with Virgin Atlantic Airways. This project cut 55 million pounds of carbon emissions while saving the airline $5 million in eight months. Pilots continued to demonstrate fuel-efficient behavior for at least six months after the field experiment ended – and the pilots reported higher job satisfaction.
eMotorWerks | Smart(grid) EV charging
Why do we love them? eMotorWerks’ EV chargers are the number one selling chargers on Amazon.com. But…that’s not their core product. Meet JuiceNet, an Internet-of-Things platform for managing vehicle-to-grid EV charging. JuiceNet not only manages charging in eMotorWerks chargers, but also in chargers manufactured by other hardware partners and increasingly in EVs themselves. eMotorWerks is on track to control more than 2 GW of virtual power plant capacity by 2020 – a result of aggregating the charging load of more than 250,000 electric vehicles.
Opus One | Real-time management for a distributed energy network
Why do we love them? Opus One Solutions has developed a calculation engine for transactive energy, a tool to inform a new era of business model innovations at the grid edge. Transactive energy is model-driven pricing that calculates the value of a kilowatt hour at different locations across the grid, to provide accurate market signals for the value of storage, generation or grid services at any given point in time. Opus One is currently working with more than 12 utilities in North America, deploying their solution across more than 4,500 medium voltage distribution feeders.
Via Science | Artificial intelligence and blockchain for critical grid infrastructure
Why do we love them? In statistics, the strongest correlation does not imply causation. 99% of analytics solutions on the market today rely solely on black box approaches to make predictions. Via Science has developed a software engine that provides explanations about why a prediction or recommendation is made. This helps utilities improve maintenance plans and provide transparency to regulators regarding their grid modernization recommendations.
Nnergix | Weather analytics and forecasting for renewable energy management
Why do we love them? Nnergix’s technology predicts the future behavior of infrastructure (including solar and wind generation) using advanced weather data, machine learning, and analytics. The market for weather forecasting systems is predicted to be worth nearly $2 billion by 2020.
Shifted Energy | Creating virtual power plants from existing infrastructure
Why do we love them? Electric water heaters represent 40% of installed heaters worldwide and are the largest residential energy load. Shifted Energy uses a combined software and hardware solution to aggregate and control electric water heaters. The aggregated water heaters act as a virtual power plant, which the utility can cycle on or off based on real-time grid needs. Shifted has proven low-cost load shifting at scale through a 499-unit rental property (an Elemental Excelerator project).
Solar Analytics | Intelligent energy monitoring for solar customers
Why do we love them? Solar Analytics’ mission is to use software and data to empower people. Their cloud-based data and analytics platform uses real-time energy and weather data to 1) analyze how well a solar installation is performing, and 2) provide actionable insights to maximize returns for homeowners. Solar Analytics is the largest solar monitoring provider in Australia. Their product is being used at 15,000+ sites with more than 10,000 customers. That’s a lot of data!
Allume | Solar sharing for multi-family dwellings
Why do we love them? Allume has built a tool that facilitates behind-the-meter sharing of electricity generated from rooftop PV panels to supply multiple, separately metered dwellings, such as apartment buildings. Their solution enables apartment renters to go solar by removing the barriers to entry for multi-dwelling residents, and allowing the apartment building to maximize the use of daytime solar. Customers pay for power rather than paying for panels.
FOOD & AG
PastureMap | Manage your ranch from your pocket
Why do we love them? Managed grazing can build soil health, increase grass growth up to 4 times, and save ranchers on annual feed costs. Those results require actionable data and the digitization of a largely paper industry. PastureMap is connecting data through the beef supply chain to achieve a triple bottom line: 1) traceable, healthy beef that’s better for consumers, 2) profitable rancher and farmer livelihoods, and 3) building soil carbon and healthy grasslands.
By the numbers
If you love stats, here’s a look at our 2018 cohort by the numbers:
- 12 companies, a perfect dozen!
- On average, each company has raised $2.9 million of outside capital, generated $780k of revenue, and built a team of 14 full-time employees.
42 percent of the cohort is headquartered internationally, representing Australia (x2), Canada, United Kingdom, and Spain.
Curious about our pipeline?
It was one of our most competitive application seasons yet! Here are a few more statistics for our data-loving friends:
- 450 companies took the first step to apply.
- 200 met our minimum requirements of an operating prototype, at least two team members, and customer traction. Applicants that met our minimum criteria generated nearly $300,000 of revenue, raised $1.9 million of outside capital, and built a team of 7.5 full-time members on average.
- 12 companies were chosen, a 2.7 percent acceptance rate.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” – Ralph Waldo Emerson