Showcase GEF 2022
An exciting Innovation Showcase featuring a selection of diverse Bay Area startups was held on November 2, 2022, the first day of the Global Energy Forum (GEF). Each company exemplifies the breakthrough technologies and products that are emerging from the local innovation ecosystem. These mature startups demonstrate a range of scalable opportunities for growth across the energy landscape. Confirmed companies include: Airity Technologies, Amprius, Antora Energy, Axiom Cloud, Buzz Solutions, Citrine Informatics, Clearloop, ClearFlame Engines, Cuberg, Gradient, Guidewheel, Halo Industries, Mainspring Energy, Molten Industries, Natron Energy, OhmConnect, Pano, Regenerative Resources, Renewell Energy, Resource Chemical, Scale Microgrid, Swift Solar, Sync Energy, Takachar, Trucklabs, Twelve, Verdigris, Visolis, and WeaveGrid.
Airity Technologies, Inc. develops and sells advanced power conversion technologies, including the world’s smallest high-voltage power supplies. Our circuit topologies provide more efficient and compact high-voltage DC and radio frequency sources. These have been applied to semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace, lighting, medicine, and research applications where high performance, low cost, and extremely small size and weight are important and enable new technologies. Airity also develops nanosecond-scale high voltage pulse generators for low-temperature atmospheric plasmas. Airity leverages proprietary IP and leading research in power electronics from Stanford University. The company is based in Redwood City, CA, and is expanding through a combination of product sales and close collaborations with leading clients.
Amprius Technologies manufacturers the most advanced Li-Ion batteries in the world and has successfully commercialized the world's first 100% silicon anode batteries. With unparalleled performance in energy density, charge and discharge capabilities, and thermal performance, Amprius' battery solutions has been verified in industy and is currently supporting numerous programs including the recent record setting flight of the Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo Satellite by Airbus.
Antora’s thermal energy storage soaks up excess solar and wind electricity and uses it to heat blocks of carbon, so they glow like the inside of a toaster. This stored heat can then deliver electricity or industrial process heat up to 1500C to customers, on demand at cost parity with fossil fuels. We make it possible and profitable to fully rely on renewable energy for industrial processes.
Axiom Cloud’s mission is to use software and automation to transform how the world’s cooling systems are powered, operated, and maintained, in order to generate significant climate and financial impact. Axiom’s team of refrigeration experts, data scientists, energy experts, and software developers solves retail grocery’s biggest energy and maintenance challenges by layering intelligence onto their existing refrigeration systems.
Buzz Solutions safeguards the world's energy infrastructure by providing AI-powered predictive analytics and actionable insights for power infrastructure inspections. We enable our customer field teams to perform the prioritized maintenance in a timely manner reducing the likelihood of wildfires, forced shutdowns, and power outages resulting from failed grid infrastructure. Using our proprietary tools and algorithms, Buzz customers have seen up to 60% time savings per pole for inspections and continue to see increasing cost savings, up to 50% compared to manual analysis and competitive solutions. Our software platform is powered by AI and Machine Vision technology for visualization analytics capabilities and fault/anomaly detections; delivering insights into where and when faults exist/will exist for built transmission, distribution, and substation infrastructure.
Citrine’s scalable, secure, software platform enables product developers, scientists, and data managers to use cutting-edge machine learning and data management technology to accelerate materials and chemical development via an intuitive interface. Citrine’s implementation team supports the scaling of the technology with our customers from initial training and project identification through to autonomy.
ClearFlame Engine Technologies
Harnessing engines to slash costs and emissions. From fleets and long-haul trucking to agriculture, power generation, construction, and other non-road diesel sectors, ClearFlame Engines can now easily transform your diesel engines to quickly and cost-effectively reduce harmful emissions and lower total costs –all without new infrastructure or a green premium.
Cuberg is commercializing next-generation battery technology to power the future of electric mobility. The company was acquired in 2021 by Northvolt, a global supplier of sustainable, high-quality battery cells and systems. As Northvolt's Advanced Technology Center operating in Silicon Valley, Cuberg is developing and commercializing lithium metal batteries, building an innovation ecosystem around lithium-ion technology, and leveraging Northvolt's state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities to rapidly scale up production of advanced batteries.
Cuberg's groundbreaking lithium metal battery delivers generational improvements in energy density and power output and has been validated by the U.S. Department of Energy. The company's battery products are ideally suited to power the next generation of electric vehicles on the ground and in the air, offering longer ranges and flight times, greater payloads, and lower cost of ownership. The technology, based on a non-flammable liquid electrolyte combined with a lithium metal anode, is fully compatible with existing lithium-ion manufacturing infrastructure to accelerate time-to-market.
Founded in 2019, ElectricFish is a climate tech company building distributed energy storage powered by software. ElectricFish’s patented, turnkey energy storage solutions bring unprecedented convenience to the EV charging experience while also supporting energy resilience in local communities, all with 100% renewable energy.
We are experienced battery researchers, hardware engineers, energy scientists, creatives, and serial entrepreneurs with deep domain expertise and execution experience from leading organizations such as BMW, Oak Ridge National Lab, NASA, and Stanford. Our team has been recognized by a number of institutions, including Forbes 30 under 30. While our diverse team stems from different walks of life, we are uncompromisingly united in our mission to enabling a decarbonized, resilient, and equitable energy future all communities. Our humble yet mighty team is based in Fremont, CA.
Gradient is a replacement for a window AC that cools and heats. We’ve rethought the design so it fits with what consumers want: a beautiful unit that does not block the window. We are using heat pump technology and a climate-friendly refrigerant to create a product that is quiet, effective and efficient. It is engineered to be easy to install and easy to use from anywhere, thanks to a mobile app. We believe it’s the first step toward slashing emissions from existing HVAC systems.
Guidewheel is on a mission to empower all the world’s factories to reach sustainable peak performance. Good for business, good for the planet. They are building a new SaaS category — FactoryOps — that democratizes real-time tools elite factories use and makes them plug-and-play for the 99% so all factories can get to peak efficiency. Guidewheel already works with 100+ manufacturers across seven countries and was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of 100 most promising companies globally poised to make a significant impact on business and society.
Halo Industries, Inc.
Halo Industries is a spin-out from Stanford University that is at the forefront of next-generation manufacturing using light. We’re currently enabling the massive transition to electric vehicles and the broader wave of electrification but you’ll soon see us expand to many other applications as well. We’ve invented and are now deploying a novel laser-based approach to segmenting and shaping advanced materials that are the foundation of all modern technology. Our innovations dramatically reduce the cost and improve the quality of existing, widely used products as well as enable novel functionality, such as flexible electronics, 3D integrated circuits and foldable displays.
Indrio Technologies, Inc.
Indrio Technologies builds laser-based chemical sensors to increase efficiency while reducing downtimes, operating costs, and environmental impacts across various sectors including automotive and manufacturing. Our first product, Zephyr measures trace level concentration of gases in air. We have demonstrated unprecedented performance in chemical detection in harsh industrial environments and broke previous records by several orders of magnitude. These capabilities will enable a substantial reduction in air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from energy systems. We are also developing new sensors for tracking down 1 molecule of hydrogen among a billion other molecules. We have participated in many startup incubators such as StartX, Plug and Play, GBeta, Creative Destruction Labs, and Cardinal Ventures and won multiple grants from institutions such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, Stanford’s TomKat Center, Natural Gas Initiative and Woods Institute for the Environment. We have also won an international clean air startup competition hosted in Poland with participants from 40 countries.
Driven by its vision of the affordable, reliable, zero carbon grid of the future, Mainspring is delivering a breakthrough new category of power generation — the linear generator — to leading commercial, industrial, and utility customers to increase their energy resilience, generate cost savings, and meet their sustainability and climate goals. Customers include Fortune 500 companies like Kroger and Lineage Logistics, as well as utilities like PG&E, Florida Power and Light, and others. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Mainspring is backed by top-tier investors.
Today, the world produces nearly 100 million tons of hydrogen by leveraging steam to break down methane. Hydrogen has the potential to be an invaluable part of our global energy mix due to its versatility, and the ability to increase storage capacity for renewables and decarbonize hard-to-abate industries. Yet, the current methane production process is responsible for about 10 tons of carbon emissions per ton of hydrogen produced. Similarly, while clean methods of hydrogen production exist – like electrolysis – they rely on large amounts of renewable wind and solar energy.
Molten Industries is developing a simple process using methane pyrolysis technology to thermally decompose methane into solid carbon particles and hydrogen gas, avoiding gaseous carbon dioxide emissions that can leak into the atmosphere. Their solution is less energy intensive – using seven times less energy than electrolysis – and can use existing natural gas networks to produce clean hydrogen at points of consumption.
Hydrogen’s versatility and potential to decarbonize heavy industries makes it essential to reaching net zero. Molten Industries hydrogen production solution provides an energy-efficient alternative to producing scalable clean energy.
Mukuru Clean Stoves
Mukuru Clean Stoves (MCS) designs, manufactures, and distributes improved, efficient, and reliable cookstoves. MCS makes its stoves with locally sourced recycled metal and distributes them through networks of local women business owners and microfinance institutions. MCS’s vision is to significantly reduce household air pollution in underserved markets in Africa.
OhmConnect is a free service that pays our community to save electricity use once per week. Users can sign up, reduce electricity and earn rewards. Saving electricity can be simple – just simply delay doing the dishes or washing your clothes – or it can be automated by connecting wifi thermostats, plugs, and other smart home devices. Signing up takes just 1 minute. OhmConnect gets paid by the energy grid to reduce demand during times of grid stress. OhmConnect was critical in avoiding blackouts during the September 2022 heat wave, saving 1.5 GWh of energy during times when the grid needed it the most – that’s the equivalent of turning off the entire city of San Francisco for a couple of hours! OhmConnect is paving the path towards a sustainable future, while enabling 100% clean energy for everyone. Our mission is to rally people to change how and when they use electricity — unlocking clean, affordable and reliable energy.
Pano AI is a pioneer in climate change adaptation, with a mission to accelerate global adaptation to the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters. Pano AI is the first company to offer a fully-integrated active wildfire detection solution that combines advanced hardware, artificial intelligence, and an easy-to-use cloud-based interface. This helps first responders get to the scene faster and more safely—with the right equipment, up-to-date information, and enhanced coordination—so they can stop a new ignition in its tracks. Pano AI launched the most advanced product on the market to help fire agencies stop catastrophic wildfires at a point in history when the threat of wildfires is growing substantially.
Regenerative Resources Co
Regenerative Resources combines aquaculture, halophytic agriculture, and mangrove agroforestry to transform degraded coastal lands into circular economic systems using untreated seawater. Through this regenerative seawater agriculture system, we address challenges of food and water security, while increasing biodiversity, sequestering blue carbon, and increasing freshwater resources.
Cleaning up the current 2.6 million inactive oil and gas wells in North America (millions more on the way!) will require $187B, take +100 years, and leak more than 664 million tons CO2e of methane. At the same time, wind and solar will never achieve majority market share without energy storage capable of both short and long duration. Renewell incentivizes oil and gas companies to seal and convert over 1.8M wells to drastically increase the pace of their clean up at a lower cost, while also reducing methane emissions. Renewell will create 132GWh of storage (~5% of market share in 2050) uniquely capable of providing both short duration and long duration energy storage.
ReSource is developing a technology to produce novel materials from sustainable feedstocks for use in applications such as packaging, bottles, and fibers. These materials do not accumulate in nature and outperform incumbent plastics. Current commodity plastic production accounts for 8% of global oil and gas use and nearly 4% of GHG emissions, with these numbers projected to double in the next 30 years. We are commercializing a proprietary process to produce FDCA, a replacement for the petrochemical monomer PTA that is used to make polyesters such as PET, the world’s 2nd largest commodity polymer by volume. Polyesters made using FDCA are 100% recyclable, industrially compostable, and degrade much faster than conventional polyester if released into the environment. They outperform PET, with superior thermal and mechanical properties and an increased shelf life for perishable goods. The commercialization of these materials has been impeded by the high complexity and cost of conventional processes which source FDCA from sugar. ReSource technology produces FDCA from CO2 and waste biomass and reduces the process steps by two thirds, resulting in a dramatically lower production cost that will enable market penetration for high volume applications. Commodity materials synthesized from ReSource FDCA could eliminate >200 Mton yr–1 of GHG emissions.
Revolusolar is a non-profit organization, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the mission to promote the sustainable development of low income communities through solar energy.
Scale MicroGrid Solutions
Scale is a vertically integrated distributed energy platform, with a core focus of designing, building, financing, owning and operating cutting-edge distributed energy assets that offer cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient power. Their team of energy and financing experts accelerate growth in distributed energy projects by providing financing to technology providers, energy developers, and OEMs, while also directly helping large energy-consuming customers to take charge of their energy infrastructure and future-proof their businesses.
Founded in 2011, Silicon Ranch is a fully integrated provider of customized renewable energy, carbon, and battery storage solutions for a diverse set of partners across North America. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than four gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems that are contracted, under construction, or operating across the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Ranch owns and operates every project in its portfolio and has maintained an unblemished track record of project execution, having successfully commissioned every project it has contracted in its history. Silicon Ranch has the largest utility scale agrivoltaics portfolio in the country under Regenerative Energy® its nationally recognized holistic approach to project design, construction, and land management. This model incorporates regenerative ranching and other regenerative land management practices to restore healthy soil, biodiversity, and water. In 2021, Silicon Ranch acquired Clearloop, which helps businesses of all sizes reclaim their carbon footprint with a direct investment in building new solar projects while helping to bring renewable energy and economic development to American regions most at risk of being left behind.
Swift Solar uses breakthrough perovskite photovoltaics technology to make more efficient solar products. We use metal halide perovskite solar cells to make tandem cells that can break through the 30% conversion efficiency barrier. These can be manufactured at low cost, and they can be integrated into ultra-lightweight and thin solar panels with up to 100 times the power-to-weight performance of conventional panels. Our perovskite tandem technology delivers abundant zero-carbon electricity for any application under the sun.
SYNC ENERGY AI helps public service and infrastructure organizations to proactively mitigate physical and climate risks, using high resolution satellite imagery, before they become a safety hazard. SYNC ENERGY AI uses artificial intelligence to make power systems around the world more reliable as well as cities and neighborhoods safer. By creating a dashboard that utilities could access to predict the impact of extreme weather events on the grid, communities could determine how to prepare before and after the storm. That helps to keep the lights on longer or back on quickly after an outage. The same technology is used by cities to proactively identify high risk vegetation near roads, houses, and other critical infrastructure. This in turn keeps cities and neighborhoods much safer.
Crop/forest residues (biomass) are loose, wet, bulky, and expensive to transport/centralize for conversion. Thus, many rural communities are shut out from the nascent bioeconomy, and their only recourse is to set residues on fire. This not only represents a $120 billion/year of lost economic opportunity, but also creates air/smog pollution, and sometimes exacerbates catastrophic wildfires. Takachar develops small-scale, low-cost, portable systems that latch onto the back of tractors/pick-up trucks to deploy to remote, hard-to-access communities to locally upgrade and densify residues on-site, without needing external energy inputs, into customizable higher-value, carbon-based bioproducts such as biofuels, chemicals, or carbon-negative fertilizer blends. Many of these commodities can be sold locally, thereby directly replacing the expensive, imported, synthetic alternatives. As an example, rural farming communities, using our carbon-based fertilizers, can cut back on the reliance on energy-intensive chemical fertilizers, whose availability has been threatened by supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic as well as the Russian-Ukrainian war. By developing self-sufficient rural bioeconomies, our work overwhelmingly benefits rural underserved communities by creating local unskilled livelihood and enabling them access the carbon market. Therefore, our solution not only has the potential to durably remove 2.4 gigatonnes/year of CO2e worldwide, but also advances climate justice.
TruckLabs is a trucking technology company that is serious about making today’s and tomorrow’s trucking fleets more efficient and sustainable. We create innovative hardware and software products that make a positive impact on carbon reduction while improving our customers’ bottom line. We have over half-billion miles of real-world, over-the-road results to show for it. Our flagship technology, TruckWings™, is a smart tractor-mounted, aerodynamic device that automatically closes the gap between cab and trailer to reduce drag, improve stability, and increase fuel efficiency. We are on a mission to save 100 million metric tons of CO2 emissions every single year, so we can all breathe easier.
Twelve is the carbon transformation company - a new kind of chemical company built for the climate era, making essential products from air, not oil. This groundbreaking technology eliminates emissions by transforming CO2 into critical chemicals, materials, and fuels that today are made from fossil fuels. Transforming carbon in this way fundamentally changes how we can address climate change, reduce emissions, and reverse the carbon imbalance. Twelve is on a mission to create a climate positive world and a fossil free future through the power of chemistry.
Verdigris is an AI-powered smart building management platform that optimizes energy consumption for organizations. We’ve developed advanced sensor technology that can be quickly and easily installed into any building’s electrical panels to get granular data down to the circuit level. Our proprietary AI algorithms enrich the data streams, and analytics reveal clear actions to take to increase the efficiency and reliability of the electrically-run equipment in the building. Adaptive Automation takes those insights one step further, learning the energy patterns of a building and implementing controls to save money effortlessly. Verdigris helps customers make smart decisions about energy, so they can save money, reduce risk, and decrease their carbon footprint.
Visolis technology combines new-age synthetic biology and traditional chemical catalysis to produce a portfolio of bio-based chemicals with large application potential. From drop-in commodity chemicals, to innovative specialty chemical offerings, our platform has the versatility to produce materials for multiple end markets and industries.
WeaveGrid is a leading software company that builds data products to enable increased adoption of electric vehicles. WeaveGrid solves one of the most critical transportation electrification challenges — connecting a growing wave of electric vehicles to a grid that was not designed to support the high power needs of widespread charging. WeaveGrid accelerates the transition of the transportation and energy industries into one connected system, all the while ensuring that it is clean, equitable, and resilient. Our software transforms unpredictable and disaggregated EV charging loads into a cohesive network of controllable and valuable grid assets. We use cutting edge data science and optimization to bring value to all stakeholders in this transition, including utilities, automakers, and drivers.
WindBorne designs, builds, and operates a constellation of long-duration smart weather balloons targeting the most critical data in the atmosphere