SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Co. announced it has selected six additional clean technology startup companies to join its Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a five-year, $10 million program to help accelerate new technologies. The early-stage companies will each receive up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind technical consultation to foster solutions focused on reducing energy and creating innovative clean technologies for commercial buildings. Launched in 2014, IN2 is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
This is the second of three selection rounds. Last April, Wells Fargo selected four clean technology startups as the first participants in IN2.
In addition to receiving funding for business development, IN2 participants receive financial and technical consultation from a network of experts, as well as research and testing support at NREL’s facility in Golden, Colorado. Startups participating in the Innovation Incubator will have their technologies validated in the lab, followed by piloting in select Wells Fargo locations.
“The power of IN2 is that it’s built on collaboration with leaders at Wells Fargo, universities, regional accelerators, and the experts, researchers, and scientists at NREL,” said Mary Wenzel, Wells Fargo head of environmental affairs. “We’re all rolling up our sleeves and working together to offer support to these entrepreneurs so that they will have the best chance for success in getting their technology to the marketplace and in addressing the increasing constraints on natural resources.”
The six clean technology startups joining IN2 are:
7AC Technologies, Beverly, Massachusetts: This company’s liquid desiccant air conditioning technology is said to reduce electricity and potable water consumption for cooling and heating by 40 percent compared to existing solutions.
Go Electric Inc., Anderson, Indiana: This firm’s meter energy solutions and services for facilities and utilities integrate renewable energy, advanced batteries, and generators to reduce energy costs, ensure energy security, and enhance grid stability.
Heliotrope Technologies, Alameda, California: This company is utilizing unique, solution-based manufacturing processes for electrochromic devices, with an emphasis on developing low-cost, energy-saving smart windows.
NETenergy, Chicago: This thermal energy storage (TES) company’s module integrates with small commercial building air conditioning systems to shift energy demand and consumption to off-peak hours.
Polyceed Inc., Encinitas, California: This startup is focused on developing novel low-cost, high-tech smart materials whose optical properties can be changed in a predictable and controllable manner. The technology has broad applications from dynamic smart windows to displays and more.
ThermoLift Inc., Stony Brook, New York: This company is developing a natural gas-driven heat pump and air conditioner to replace building heating, cooling, and hot water systems with a single appliance. The company anticipates the technology can provide a 30-50 percent reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
“This program is proving to be highly valuable to both the IN2 awardees and NREL, and we look forward to engaging with the next round of building technology companies entering the program,” said Richard Adams, director of NREL’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. “IN2 is proving out the model that we had envisioned, and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to advance these early-stage technologies as well as to offer real-world test conditions in order to optimize their potential for success in the market.”
The Innovation Incubator sources potential program participants from nearly 30 universities and regional accelerator programs that serve as channel partners. A call for applications for the third and final round of awardees will take place in the summer of 2016.
Publication date: 1/5/2016