DOE’s SunShot Incubator Event Showcases Solar Innovation

Attendees had an opportunity to rub shoulders with researchers, state officials, and other innovative solar companies.

Attendees had an opportunity to rub shoulders with researchers, state officials, and representatives from other innovative solar companies.

On Wednesday, June 26th, Fraunhofer CSE partnered with the US Department of Energy to host 20 companies from the DOE’s SunShot Incubator program at our new Building Technology Showcase in the Boston Innovation District. This networking event gave Incubator awardees a chance to meet potential investors, partners, and policymakers, and was intended to raise industry and investor awareness of these innovative, high-impact companies.

The SunShot Incubator Program funds companies across the solar industry spectrum, from software firms and business solutions providers seeking to reduce solar “soft costs” to companies specializing in photovoltaic and concentrating solar power devices and materials, power electronics, and hardware-based balance of systems innovations. The program involves a rigorous 12-18 month product development process with aggressive  milestones. Most of the program’s “graduates” subsequently attract significant private sector investment.  Since 2007, the SunShot Incubator Program has invested $92 million in 54 startups that succeeded in raising more than $1.7 billion in private sector funding.

Each of the 20 participants was provided with a booth space to set up product demonstrations and marketing materials, and given one minute to pitch their technology solution to attendees in a rapid-fire presentation session. Pitch topics included:

  • Energy Sage and Sun Number discussing novel solutions to reduce customer acquisition costs;
  • Mosaic on crowdfunding cleantech;
  • Genability on automated avoided cost modeling;
  • Infinite Invention on the PV-ready meter plug;
  • Seeo on integrating solar and batteries;
  • Simply Civic on cloud-based solar permitting processes;
  • Amberwave on the world’s most efficient cell design, applied to the world’s thinnest silicon.

Participating companies came from across the US, but also included a significant number of Massachusetts-based start-ups, such as Bandgap Engineering and TechBridge portfolio company Qado Energy. Richard Sullivan, Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, was on hand to welcome the awardees, along with Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Participants included Massachusetts-based start-ups like Bandgap Engineering.

Participants included Massachusetts-based start-ups like Bandgap Engineering.

About author
I'm Fraunhofer CSE's former Marketing Specialist, having worked at the Center from its founding in 2008 until 2013. In late 2013, I left the clean energy industry to pursue a career in enterprise software.
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