ready to grow
Exclusive: Rice University's new clean energy accelerator announces inaugural cohort
Rice University selected 12 early-stage clean energy startups to help accelerate over the summer — and the new program kicks off later this month.
The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, which was announced last September, is a 12-week program will prepare startups to grow their business, connect them with strategic partners and mentors, launch pilots, and fundraise. The inaugural application process attracted companies from 14 states and eight countries.
"We were impressed with the quality, potential and range of clean energy solutions being commercialized by our applicant pool and took great care in assessing their potential as well as our ability to meet their identified needs," says Kerri Smith, the accelerator's interim executive director. "The selection process was very competitive. We had a difficult time paring down the applications but are looking forward to working with our first class of 12."
A screening committee comprised of over 30 entrepreneurs, energy experts, and industry executives selected the 12 companies by evaluating them on their innovation, market strategy, viability, and more.
"With a decade of experience leading the OwlSpark Accelerator, we know that in addition to recruiting startups with technological promise, it's critical we also create a cohesive and collaborative culture," says Smith, who led OwlSpark since 2013. "We ensured we could provide the founders with a quality experience and deliver on individual startup needs."
The program, which will eventually be housed in The Ion, kicks off virtually on June 28 and will end with a demo day in conjunction with the 19th Annual Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum on Thursday, September 16.
The inaugural cohort of the program includes:
- Toronto-based 3E Nano, a nanotechnology company that has developed an earth-friendly, high performance solar energy control coating for polymeric substrates.
- CarbonBioEnergy, which has a mission is to transform carbon dioxide, waste biomass, and renewable electricity into zero-carbon biofuels and chemicals. The company is focused on replacing fuels in the hard-to-decarbonize sectors, like aviation and marine transport.
- CoFlow Jet Wind Turbines is developing transformative ultra-high efficiency, low energy cost wind turbines to expand wind energy usage and reduce greenhouse gas emission.
- Houston-based Criterion Energy Partners, an independent exploration and production company, is focused on developing decentralized direct geothermal energy projects to help commercial and industrial consumers by providing clean, reliable, baseload energy using heat from the Earth.
- Ground State Technologies is developing an edge optimization processor chip to enable energy companies to deploy more intelligent systems. The company is based in Mountain View, California.
- Hydrodine Catalytics, a Canadian company, has developed a zero emissions cleantech that eliminates the need for fuel gas, enables gas producers to capture Offset Carbon Credits, lowers CAP/OPEX, provides power at remote natural gas well sites, and improves operator safety.
- KaninEnergy, a turnkey developer and innovative investor of waste heat to power projects, is helping heavy industry monetize waste heat and decarbonize operations. The company is based in Alberta, Canada.
- Illinois-based NASADYA is building power systems that would take excess energy form the power plants and convert that into profitable co-products, green hydrogen, and oxygen.
- Power HV, a Canadian company, has built monitoring sensors and bushings to help oil processing plants like refineries and transportation improve safety from methane and fire while reducing electricity grid losses and improving transformer energy efficiency by 30 percent.
- Californian company Renewell Energy converts idle oil and gas wells into the lowest cost, most flexible, highest GHG abating energy storage devices in the world.
- SeebeckCell Technologies, based in Arlington, Texas, is helping petroleum and gas industries and emerging markets solve energy waste with an innovative liquid based thermoelectric generator.
- Mote is developing carbon-negative biomass gasification factories to supply customers with hydrogen.