Summer 2019
Energy

The challenge

To be part of a competitively-selected cohort of startup and/or seed stage ventures who offer new technologies, or novel applications of existing technologies, aimed at reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the heating and/or transportation sector.

Rural economies nationwide and around the globe are struggling to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels particularly in transportation and heating. As extreme weather events become more prevalent, the need for innovation in the private sector has never been more real.

Vermont is a leader in the incubation and development of forward-thinking energy businesses and is making a concerted effort to attract the next generation of climate-friendly businesses to the state in an effort to accelerate their success.

Consider some of the challenges and opportunities that we face in Vermont that are also applicable throughout the world. Some examples would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Solutions to make electric transportation more affordable, accessible, and widely-available;
  • New electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for homes, businesses, and the public;
  • New technology to help utilities interface with electric charging infrastructure to manage demand or send price signals or enable dynamic or other rates;
  • New air-source and ground-source heat pump technologies, including demand management and boiler-compatible;
  • Advanced biomass and biofuel solutions for homes, businesses, and public-sector institutions;
  • Solar water heating solutions;
  • District heating technologies and applications.

Who applied

Entrepreneurs participating in Accel-VT come from Vermont and around the U.S. and Canada, typically at a startup or seed stage of development. Companies with at least two team members, demonstrated market adoption in the form of a pilot or paying customer and some level of investment or grant other than founder capital were encouraged to apply.

Watch Our Energy 2018 Recap

Important Dates

February 11, 2019
Application opens

May 3, 2019
Application deadline

May 10, 2019
Cohort selected

May 28-31, 2019
First Sprint

July 9-12, 2019
Second Sprint

August 12-15, 2019
Third Sprint

DID YOU KNOW?

Accel-VT offers cohort members more than 35 hours of time with mentors, investors and potential customers?

JUST ANNOUNCED: Accel-VT Energy 2019 Selects Cohort Companies

The companies

EVmatch Logo

EVmatch is a mobile platform that allows EV drivers to find and reserve charging stations anywhere they go by enabling increased access to underutilized private charging stations. EVmatch reduces the stress in locating an available charger and immediately grows the public charging network by making private charging stations available to the public. www.evmatch.com/ California

Go Together Logo

Go Together is a SaaS platform for people to get where they need to go through their trusted networks using apps to do end to end trip planning to meet, collaborate and schedule carpools, biking, walking, transit, and more. Go Together leverages technology and the power of trusted communities to innovate the way people get where they need and want to go whether it’s to and from school, to practice, a game or to vote. gotogether.today/home/ Washington, D.C.

iSun logo

iSun Energy develops robust, esthetic, smart and easy to install solar carport and canopy systems with proprietary hardware and software systems. iSun offers an attractive structure delivering shading and protection, while also feeding the local grid with renewable solar energy, and the ability to mate with smart energy management systems, such as EV charging. isunenergy.com/en/ Quebec

Onboard Logo

Onboard Data is an open and interoperable data management platform for building portfolios. Onboard aggregates and standardizes energy, maintenance, comfort and occupancy data across the portfolio. Clients can then leverage this data to power smart solutions for tenants and employees with speed and scale. Onboard employs machine-learning to aggregate and standardize building data with greater speed and scale than existing solutions. www.onboarddata.io/ Massachusetts

RVE logo

RVE offers an energy management system that enables EV owners and utilities to save costs on EVSE charging installations in multi-family and single family homes. RVE’s load monitoring technology has no equivalent in the market. It’s the safest charging solution for maximizing time of use charging without compromising safety. rve.ca/ Quebec

Somerville Electric Vehicle Co. Logo

The Somerville Electric Vehicle Company provides charging solutions for micro-mobility applications (e-scooters, e-bicyles, e-mopeds) by using swappable batteries paired with a battery subscription service, so that users never have to wait to charge. Somerville EV Co charges and stores batteries in self-serve swap-and-go Battery Swap Kiosks. www.som-ev.com/ Massachusetts

United Aircraft Technologies Logo

United Aircraft Technologies developed a robust Interconnecting Clamp (ICC) for aerospace wire harness management that replaces a metal legacy design with a new ergonomic and considerably lighter alternative. This patent pending ICC is unique because it avoids metallic installation hardware while greatly simplifying installation complexity, reducing installer fatigue, and minimizing associated repetitive strain injury. www.uairtek.com/ New York

Urban SDK Logo

Urban SDK indexes movement and preferences across cities to predict mobility demand, safety needs, emissions, and derive business intelligence to operate smarter cities. Urban SDK provides a software as a service to combine real-time location data with predictive analytics to transform your city’s mobility, transportation, and safety operations. www.urbansdk.com/ Florida

1 Winner - $25,000 Prize

Accel-VT cohort members will take part in a three-month intensive training. The accelerator consists of three separate, four-day, on-site “sprints”, in the Burlington area, with homework and webinars in between. Participants will be exposed to the world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, which is designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale.

The VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum’s unique “peer-review” process enables each entrepreneur to gain an intimate understanding of the other businesses in the cohort, allowing them to provide quality feedback and to select the top company to receive a $25,000 non-equity prize. All cohort members will also have the opportunity to pitch their business in front of high quality investors.

“In Vermont, the transportation sector represents our largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, in Burlington, transportation is the largest source of local greenhouse gas emissions. At Burlington Electric Department, we see an opportunity to help our customers and all of our ratepayers benefit from efforts to expand electric transportation.” Read more…

Darren SpringerGeneral Manager, Burlington Electric Department

ADDITIONAL $20,000 IN PRIZE MONEY

FROM BURLINGTON ELECTRIC

Burlington Electric Department will provide up to $10,000 in Tier 3 funds for up to two cohort companies, for a total of $20,000 to demonstrate their technologies through qualifying projects or programs in Burlington, VT at the close of Accel-VT Energy.

Tier 3 of Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard requires distribution utilities to acquire fossil fuel savings from energy transformation projects (projects that reduce fossil fuel consumed by their customers in the heating and transportation sectors).

A panel consisting of Burlington Electric representatives will select up to two companies (provided their proposed project or program would meet Tier 3 requirements) and announce the winners at the closing Accel-VT event Thursday, August 15. This opportunity is in addition to the two Accel-VT winners.

ADDITIONAL $2,500 PRIZE

FROM GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER

Green Mountain Power (GMP) will provide up to $2,500 in Tier 3 funds for a cohort company (selected by GMP) to demo a Tier 3 program or project with Green Mountain Power in Vermont.

Advisors

At Accel-VT, we tap an innovative group of leaders who are subject matter experts and/or have deep entrepreneurial and investment experience, based on the needs of each cohort selected.

Joseph Steig

Principal,
ecosVC

Bio

Joseph Steig is a principal at ecosVC, a consulting and training company for STEM ventures. He also consults with companies and investors in a CFO capacity. He currently works with LRVHealth, a healthcare venture fund based in Boston, and with IUNU, an agriculture technology company based in Seattle. Joseph has worked in a diverse range of industries from aquaculture to software and has extensive consulting experience with universities and innovators on technology commercialization.

Joseph serves on the Board of Directors of Greentown Learn, the educational non-profit affiliated with the world’s largest clean tech incubator, Greentown Labs. He went to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts  and divides his time between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. More information at www.steig.com.

Darren Springer Accel-VT Advisor

Darren Springer

General Manager, Burlington Electric Department

Bio

Darren Springer is the General Manager at Burlington Electric Department (BED). He previously served as Burlington Electric’s Chief Operating Officer and led the Center for Innovation team which includes the Policy & Planning, Finance, Information Technology and Energy Services divisions.

Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working in the Governor’s Office, Darren was appointed as Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Public Service Department, leading the advancement of the 2014 net metering law and 2015 renewable energy standard.

Darren worked for 4 years in the Washington, D.C. Office of U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy & Environment, and later as Chief Counsel. He has also worked for the National Governors Association as Program Director for Energy and Transportation. Darren has a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and earned a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. While at Vermont Law School, he was selected as Managing Editor of the Vermont Law Review, and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the Vermont Bar, Virginia Bar, and Florida Bar. Darren has also served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont.

Paul Silva Accel-VT Advisor

Paul Silva

General Partner, Launch413, and President & Founder, Innovation Accelerator

Bio

Paul Silva leads Launch413, an alternative venture fund getting startups to their first $10 million in revenue; River Valley Investors, which connects seed and early-stage startups to Western Massachusetts’ angel investors; and Innovation Accelerator, which trains nonprofit leaders to develop sources of unrestricted, recurring, and sustainable revenue.

Previously, he co-founded Valley Venture Mentors (one of the top 100 accelerators in the world). Paul served as a board member of Angel Capital Association. He also co-founded All in Play, an internet company that helped the blind socialize with their fully sighted friends and families as equals.

Marilyn Waite

Program Officer in Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Bio

Marilyn Waite is currently the Program Officer, Climate and Clean Energy Finance at the Hewlett Foundation in Silicon Valley. She formerly lead the energy practice at Village Capital, where she found, trained and invested in ventures solving pressing challenges in the energy sector. Marilyn has worked across four continents in investment (Lincoln International), public policy (National Academy of Sciences), and nuclear and renewable energy (AREVA). Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn also serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and is a former Senior Research Fellow at Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown. Marilyn holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

Tammy Newmark, CEO and Managing Partner, EcoEnterprises Fund

Tammy Newmark

CEO & Managing Partner, EcoEnterprises Fund

Bio

A leader in impact investing, Tammy Newmark has over thirty years of experience in the field. Newmark launched EcoEnterprises Partners II, LP in 2012 under EcoEnterprises Capital Management, LLC in which she is a partner. She served as President of Fondo EcoEmpresas, S.A., EcoEnterprises Fund’s first fund under management, for The Nature Conservancy from 1998 to 2010. Newmark directed Technoserve, Inc.’s environmental business advisory services in Latin America and Africa. Prior to that, she was a founding officer of Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, the first venture fund that specialized in renewable energy, clean technology, and green investments in emerging markets. She established investment groups: Yayasan Bina Usaha Lingkungan and Preferred Energy Investments in Indonesia and the Philippines, respectively. She has also worked for the International Finance Corporation and JPMorgan Chase. Newmark is co-author of Portfolio for the Planet: Lessons from 10 years of impact investing, (Earthscan/Routledge Press, 2011).  Newmark has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Janice St. Onge

President,
Flexible Capital Fund

Bio

Janice St. Onge is Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund President and President of the Flexible Capital Fund (the Flex Fund). Janice brings economic and business development as well as financial expertise to the organization, having served in the technology and financial services industries, as well as higher education and state government sectors during the last 25-years. Early in her career, Janice served ten years at Peoples United Bank in Connecticut in retail management, commercial real estate lending (managing a $21 million portfolio) and organizational development roles.

Richard Donnelly, Accel-VT Advisory Board Headshot

Richard Donnelly

Senior Manager, Emerging Technologies & Services at Efficiency Vermont

Bio

Richard Donnelly is a Senior Manager, Emerging Technologies & Services at Efficiency Vermont. Richard’s professional background includes economic development, telecom, small business management, and as a chef. Richard is a senior fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program and specializes in systems-thinking, human-centered design, business modeling, value proposition design, and strategy development.

Ken Nolan, General Manager at Vermont Public Power Supply Authority

Ken Nolan

General Manager, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority

Bio

Since 2016, Ken Nolan has served as Vermont Public Power Supply Authority’s (VPPSA) General Manager. He joined the Authority with more than 30 years of electric utility experience. Previously, he held positions in power supply and resource planning, including 10 years at VPPSA (1988 to 1998). He then moved to the municipal utility, Burlington Electric Department, where he progressed his career from resource planning and management to Chief Operations Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation. In addition to his responsibilities with VPPSA, Ken serves on the Boards of Directors for Vermont Electric Power Company, Hometown Connections Inc., and VEPP Inc. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

David Bradbury

President, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies

Bio

With over 20 years involved in capital markets, early stage technology firms and venture investing, David is deeply experienced with economic development, working with entrepreneurs on technology commercialization and business formation, early stage ventures, and business growth strategies. Since June 2007, David has served as President and CEO of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) which is an independent non-profit organization offering venture capital, co-working spaces, start-up mentoring and networking. In 2013, VCET was ranked #11 globally and #5 in the US by the UBI Index.  When not grabbing coffee with aspiring entrepreneurs, reading technology journals or learning to code, David is snowboarding, surfing and mountain biking with his family from their home base in Stowe, Vermont. His blog on entrepreneurship and technology is www.TechCrib.org.

Graham Turk of Green Mountain Power an advisor for Accel-VT Energy 2019

Graham Turk

Innovation Strategist, Green Mountain Power

Bio

Graham is a member of the Innovation Development team at Green Mountain Power (GMP). His work involves designing and executing innovative pilot projects, which test new technologies and business models. These efforts contribute to GMP’s larger mission to transform our energy system into one that is more distributed, carbon-free, and community-centered, while reducing costs and increasing reliability for customers. Prior to GMP, Graham completed a Fulbright grant in Sweden on peer-to-peer solar energy markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in computer science.

Geoff Robertson

Geoff Robertson

Business Assistance Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Bio

Geoff Robertson joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2017 as Director of Business Assistance. In this role he manages a suite of business assistance services to help Vermont business owners and management teams advance profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development. Most recently Geoff held the position of CEO at Empower Mobility, a mobile platform and software company, where he was responsible for managing business development, human resources, and finances. As the CFO at School Spring, LLC, Geoff negotiated the successful sale of the cloud based recruitment and applicant tracking system for K – 12 schools. He previously served as the Entrepreneurial Advisor at Davis & Hodgdon CPAs serving School Spring, the Vermont Food Venture Center, and many other small businesses in Vermont.

Sponsors

Bournes Energy Accel-VT Energy 2019 Sponsor