Innovation Day 2022 Showcase
The inaugural Stanford Energy Innovation Day, on November 1, 2022, featured an exciting selection of start-up companies and technologies that are emerging onto the energy innovation landscape. These companies displayed their products at booths, and presented lightening talks during the plenary sessions. Companies include: AeroMutable, Anthro Energy, Bundle, Buzz Solutions, Empowered Homes, Enervenue, EvoloH, FLIP, GeCKo Materials, Gemini Energy Solutions, Kitswitch, Magno Motors, Oleo, Pulsar, Renewell Energy, Resource Chemical, Scope Zero, Shyft Power Solutions, SkyCool Systems, SQ40, The Nitrogen Company, Verne, and Working Trees.
Aeromutable is a fast-growth, venture capital-backed startup that boosts the fuel efficiency and profitability of the trucking industry, while reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions. We are focused on the design and manufacture of aerodynamic enhancement systems that increase vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. Aeromutable has developed a non-intrusive trailer add-on system that, through dynamic air injection, improves aerodynamic performance, saves money on fuel and reduces carbon emissions—allowing the trucking industry to increase profitability while reducing its carbon footprint.
Anthro is reimagining the future of energy storage. We are an advanced materials company developing solutions to some of the biggest problems facing the battery-dependent electrified future. Spun out of Stanford University, we’ve created high-performance batteries with structural integrity and total safety. Today, our customers use our flexible batteries to create advanced wearable electronics and medical devices with unprecedented functionality. Tomorrow, our ruggedized batteries will safely enable an electrified future. Anthro is proudly supported by world-class investors and a wide range of government grants. We are a group of pioneers, reimagining batteries to create a smarter, cleaner tomorrow.
Bundle is the first procurement platform that enables builders and suppliers to buy, sell, and manage construction materials from quote to delivery, powered by a two-sided marketplace and project management tools. With Bundle, builders procure materials in 10% the time with 10-20% savings. On Bundle, builders get access to real-time pricing and lead-times all in one place, and they get that information through a few clicks, rather than hundreds of calls and emails. Suppliers benefit from a digitized sales process, custom e-commerce storefronts and access to data to better predict demand. Bundle also handles payments - builders pay once through Bundle, instead of through 100+ vendors, and suppliers get paid on time with their preferred terms.
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.
EnerVenue builds simple, safe, and flexible energy storage solutions for the clean energy revolution. Based on technology proven over decades under the most extreme conditions, EnerVenue batteries are refined and scaled for large renewable energy integration applications. It improves up many of the drawbacks of today's lithium-ion batteries by exhibiting no combustion, thermal runaway, or fire propagation risk. OPEX is massively reduced. EnerVenue energy vessels last 30,000 cycles and can be cycled to 100% -- multiple cycles per day. Applicable in almost any environment, EnerVenue can operate in a variety of temperatures while not needing extraneous HVAC or regular augmentation. Ultimately, customers choose EnerVenue because the technology is radically different -- robust, simple, and safe.
EvolOH’s revolutionary electrolyzer solution makes it possible to deliver hydrogen at a scale the world can only dream of today. We started with a clean-sheet to create a platform that meets the real-world needs of systems integrators and plant operators. The electrolyzer solution is made from materials available anywhere and everywhere – nothing precious, nothing rare, domestic sources and local supplies. It allows for robust operation using just pure water – no caustic fluids or delicate pressure balances to manage. It is ultra-compact and lightweight – simplifying logistics, installation and maintenance with the smallest installed footprint available.
Asset-heavy industries are responsible for ~40% of global carbon emissions. In the US, the transportation sector is responsible for producing 29% of the total US greenhouse gas emissions, which is the highest of all economic sectors. Asset-heavy industries are challenged transitioning to a net-zero emissions energy system because clean technology innovations are still at early stages of development. The digitization of asset management strategies will play an important role in accelerating the reduction of the environmental impact of asset-heavy industries. FLIP aims to make asset management more sustainable by providing predictive analytic software solutions. FLIP offers the easiest way to track, plan, and optimally schedule asset maintenance, through our custom analytic dashboards and predictive maintenance scheduler. FLIP’s ML model predicts the risk of vehicle breakdown with a 330% increase in accuracy compared to current methods. The team’s goal is to enable a sustainable asset management program that increases productivity, reduces costs, and lowers a fleet's impact on climate change. While FLIP is tackling vehicle fleets first, its core innovation can be expanded to optimize the life-cycle of any physical asset. The team plans to apply its predictive technologies to the broader transportation, aviation, and manufacturing industries.
geCKo Materials is a bio-inspired dry adhesive that is ultra-strong, reusable, leaves no residue, and requires no force to detach. This enables current solutions to revolutionize while being cost saving and energy efficient. This also opens up new applications in industrial automation, robotic gripping, space & defense and more. Unlimited possibilities!
Intertrust is a Silicon Valley-based company with offices in Europe and Asia, 110 people and is funded and owned by a consortium of energy companies (E.ON, Jera, Origin Energy) with over 100bn USD in annual sales (additional shareholders: big SV-based VC/PE firm and additional corporates). We raised very significant funds in the last 5 years from our shareholders to develop and provide software that allows energy companies to securely exchange energy data that is spread across multiple platforms and technologies, internally and externally and manage the data security of heterogenious energy IoT devices. This solves a wealth of energy-related problems around AI-based decarbonization strategies (time to AI), energy system resilience and flexibility, energy data security, carbon and impact tracking, energy, mobility and heating transition, and many more. We have the first use cases and implementations up-and-running in renewables, distribution grids, electric vehicle infrastructure management, and are expanding into securing virtual power plants, thermal generation, fuel supply chains, sustainability data and many more areas right now. What makes us different and unique versus other tech companies? We bridge between parties and allow them to understand each other while having the choice to speak their own language – pick your data ops and pick your devices! Our business model is based on neutrality – we just provide energy data interoperability, no infrastructure, no services.
Kit Switch is a modular interiors startup delivering prefabricated components to form apartments inside vacant buildings, reducing both the cost and embodied carbon of multifamily housing developments. Kit Switch replaces the fragmented, uncertain, and time-consuming on-site retrofit process with standardized plug-and-play products. Our digital database of components and prefabricated interior modules enable housing developers to cut weeks off schedules while increasing cost and time reliability. They allow for architects to drag-and-drop pre-prepared 3D models and specs into project documentation, for production to run parallel to on-site work through a network of local manufacturers, and for seamless connections between the building systems and our product's pre-integrated MEP. Kit Switch has a vision to create affordable homes inside the buildings we already have, and to give developers the tools to pursue the growing market of adaptive reuse. We are a women-led team of Stanford Engineering grads, with completed full-scale prototypes and multiple upcoming pilots in 2023.
For decades, the majority of the population in developing economies has only been able to afford unsafe, unattractive, highly-polluting vehicles. Through a combination of a 5-star NCAP safety-rated electric platform, lightweight materials, top aerodynamics, and proprietary software, Magno Motors is developing the safest, most efficient, and most attractive Electric Vehicle that is affordable for emerging economies, starting in Latin America. Our in-house developed Artificial Intelligence car pilot brings an unprecedented technology level to the region: Magno can offer low-cost Level 3 autonomous driving, and a full-fledged embedded security software suite. Our innovative low-CapEx flexible manufacturing model requires only 10% of the CapEx & 25% of the setup time required by traditional car companies, allowing for fast expansion where it is needed. We want to empower developing economies toward a clean and safe future.
At Oleo, we recognize palm oil as an environmental and human rights crisis that must be addressed to prevent catastrophic deforestation and global warming. That’s why we are working hard to develop a synthetic alternative to palm oil that can eliminate the need for tropical deforestation and curtail greenhouse gas emissions. We also recognize that many communities depend on palm oil for income, so we are developing a process that can be implemented in producing countries alongside existing operations. Our goal is to create local regenerative economies around a sustainable alternative to palm oil that improves equity for smallholders through income diversification. Additionally, we’ve developed a process that reuses waste from palm oil plantations, making our solution both sustainable and cost effective. We envision a world run on clean, ethical oil, and a palm oil supply chain that incentivizes conservation over deforestation, and values human experiences over profit.
Pulsar is developing a fully-automated monitoring system for industrial production management. Most manufacturing plants cannot manage their production processes effectively because they lack reliable data collection systems and the tools to build key production indicators and to apply the best continuous improvement methodologies (Lean, Six-Sigma, TPM, Kaizen, among others). At Pulsar, we use plug-and-play wireless sensors and machine learning algorithms that adapt according to the behavior and operation of industrial machines, to classify downtime losses automatically from the machinery electrical signals, building up production indicators in real time and providing expert insights and recommendations for improvement. This system represents a cost-effective option for small and mid-size industrial plants, significantly impacting their productivity and use of resources, by reducing waste, energy, labor inefficiencies and machinery failures.
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 Chemical Corp.
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.
Scope Zero created a new employee benefit called a Carbon Savings Account (CSA). Employees use CSA funds for eligible home technology and personal transportation upgrades that reduce their utility bills and fuel consumption. The CSA lowers the upfront costs of upgrades in two ways: employer matches (think health savings account), and referral discounts from partner vendors within the CSA marketplace ecosystem. The CSA-enabled carbon reductions contribute to corporate sustainability goals by lowering work-from-home and commute emissions.
SHYFT Power Solutions
SHYFT Power Solutions is a seed-stage venture backed startup providing intelligent energy management to help customers in Nigeria drive operational efficiency and better manage and control their energy systems. SHYFT has developed IoT platforms, combining connected hardware with data-rich software applications, which connect and intelligent manage both energy production from hybrid systems (Grid, Generator, Solar, Battery Storage) with the SHYFT Connect platform, as well as energy distribution via smart sub-metering with the SHYFT FlexView platform. SHYFT has gained early traction in the market, deploying products with customers across Nigeria, including some of the largest installers of solar PV systems and the most well-known facility management companies in the market. SHYFT is now focused on significantly growing its customer base in Nigeria and other markets in sub-Saharan Africa to continue to enable the adoption and effective utilization of sustainable energy systems at scale.
SkyCool Systems developed a thin film coating that can stay cooler than the ambient air temperature even when under direct sunlight. The film can be applied directly on outdoor surfaces including vehicles, electronics boxes, and building roofs to keep them cool 24/7.
SQ4.0 is developing next generation perovskite-based solar cell technology with AI. SQ4.0 has built up core AI technology that massively accelerates the process development journey from lab to mass production for the solar/semiconductor industry, enabling building new devices at a fraction of the time and cost it would take using conventional methods.The AI technology has been demonstrated with leading companies, with outstanding results – up to a 10x speedup in recipe development time and step-function improvements in target performance metrics. In just two years, the team established the industry-first AI-based recipe optimization technology for this space.The solar industry is seeing the single most disruptive (and inevitable) shift since the first silicon solar cell was invented. While silicon solar technology will reach its end in the near term, the new S curve of perovskite-based solar technology is just beginning. In the next phase, SQ4.0 is going full-stack to build perovskite-based solar technology, to capture a once-in-a-lifetime shift in the solar space.
The Nitrogen Company
The Nitrogen Company uses a novel plasma system to produce nitrogen fertilizer from renewable electricity, unprocessed water and air. Our company will avoid CO2 emissions from conventional fertilizer production, reduce nitrogen pollution to waterways and provide huge benefits to electric grids.
Verne develops onboard high-density hydrogen storage and associated refueling infrastructure for heavy duty transportation. Verne technology platform is based on cryo-compression, which enables the thermodynamic optimum for high-density, low-cost hydrogen. Verne's solution doubles the density of hydrogen. This unlocks longer driving ranges (>300 miles), increases truck payload capacity and reduces upfront capital costs, overcoming major paint points for zero-emission trucks today. After successfully deploying high-density hydrogen within a beachhead market of Class 8 long haul trucking, Verne will expand to other heavy duty markets including aviation.
Working Trees’ mission is to grow trees where the interests of farmers and the climate overlap. Incorporating trees into agricultural systems can yield production benefits while storing significant carbon, but adoption has been limited due to cashflow: tree planting has upfront costs, while benefits are years in the future. Carbon markets have the potential to bridge this gap, but measurement and verification is currently expensive, limiting participation to landowners with 1,000+ acres. Working Trees' technology leverages smartphone cameras and LiDAR, satellite remote sensing data, and machine learning models to democratize access to carbon markets for landowners of all sizes by focusing on high-quality ground-truth data collection. Our technology is operational, and we have conducted a double-blind validation of the technology. We have trees in the ground in Tennessee and Arkansas, and have a guaranteed buyer -- the first agroforestry carbon project in the US.