CERAWeek by S&P Global wrapped up last week after five days of energy transition panels, leadership talks, emerging tech showcases, endless networking and so much more.
While dozens of Houston energy innovators and investors bopped around the Agora innovation section of the conference in George R. Brown Convention Center, the highest concentration of startups had to be at the Energy Transition Ventures Day pitch competition hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative and in collaboration with Halliburton Labs, Greentown Houston, The Ion, and more.
Twelve startups across four categories — carbon capture, use and storage, hydrogen solutions, energy storage, and circular economy — pitched to a panel of investors who then selected one winner per category. Additionally, Chevron Technology Ventures selected one lucky startup from the pitches to be a part of its catalyst program.
Of the 12 companies, most call Houston their headquarters — and the ones that aren't based in town have some connection to the city via accelerator, incubator, or venture program.
"This is Houston," says Jane Stricker, executive director of thee Houston Energy Transition Initiative and senior vice president of energy transition at the GHP, at the end of the pitches. "This is the reality of what's happening in this city right now — traditional oil and gas and traditional energy incumbent coming together with exciting new technology innovations to develop solutions for the future."
While its the first event the GHP has put on at CERAWeek highlighting energy transition startups, it won't be the last, Stricker notes.
"The energy industry is not some near-term problem to address on our path towards an energy transition future — whatever that looks like," Scott Gale, executive director of Halliburton Labs and host for the event, says. "We're here to drive that forward. To think otherwise is to assume that JFK said that we're going to the moon, but we're going to leave the aerospace industry behind — it's silly and it's not going to happen. We're so thrilled to have these companies here presenting."
The Energy Transition Ventures Day programming, which took place on Wednesday, March 9, concluded with a dinner celebration where the five winning startups were announced. Here are the 12 startups who pitched, with a note on those that were recognized by the judges:
- Carbon capture, use and storage category:
- OCO Chem — Washington-based startup with a technology that converts CO2 into useful products and stores renewable energy. (category winner)
- Dsider — Houston-based tech platform that uses data to track carbon emissions.
- Ionada — Houston-based company that develops, manufactures, and markets exhaust gas cleaning systems that reduce emissions from the marine and power generation industries.
- Hydrogen solutions category:
- Circular economy category:
- Energy storage category:
- Parasanti — Austin-based edge computing hardware and software startup that's streamlining in-field data and analytics. (Chevron's catalyst program winner)
- Revterra — Houston-based innovative flywheel energy storage system solution. (category winner)
- Veloce Energy — Los Angeles-based innovative electric vehicle charging solution.
- Renewell — Houston-based energy storage network that's re-purposing oil and gas infrastructure