PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the seven winners of the second round of its Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize Demo Day, which were chosen out of 19 finalist startups. Each of the contestants faced a panel of judges and an audience of nearly 100 local and regional innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors as they demonstrated their energy software solutions in Philadelphia. Winners will receive up to $100,000 each to help advance their early-stage solutions toward commercialization.

The Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize program is designed to accelerate solar energy and building energy efficiency technology deployment by connecting American startups with the tools, capabilities, data sets, and resources developed by the DOE and its national laboratories. The winners of the Catalyst prize competition and the challenge each is tackling are:

• Hot4Solar, San Francisco — Using peer networks to better target solar marketing.

• Kinetic Buildings, Philadelphia — Developing low-cost automated diagnostics for commercial buildings.

• Livable Analytics, Berkeley, California — Understanding how energy-saving technologies and building performance impact occupant satisfaction.

• Pick My Solar, SolarBook, Los Angeles — Developing a one-stop shop for information about residential solar.

• MySunBuddy, Boston — Sharing virtual net metered and community solar system solar production credits.

• Solar Land Solutions, Pittsburgh — Matching landowners and building owners with utility and community solar developers.

• Solar Merchant, Lake Forest, California — Tapping small commercial rooftop solar potential.

Each of the winning teams initially received $30,000 to continue the refinement and development of their product. Over the next six months, the winners will be required to meet a series of progress milestones with the goal of introducing their products to the marketplace in the coming months. Upon successfully meeting those milestones, they will receive the remaining $70,000 of their $100,000 prize. The rigorous approach of the Catalyst program ensures that only the best innovations complete the four-step competition, and they depart primed for private follow-on investments.

For more information on the Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize program, visit

Publication date: 12/31/2015