Future Energy: Shark Tank for the environment

Last week my colleague and I had the pleasure of attending Future Energy, an event hosted by Ultra Light Startups at Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge.  Ultra Light Startups is a community focused on helping technology entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses.future_energy_v2 (1)

Future Energy is a series of events in Boston, New York City and Silicon Valley that connect energy and cleantech startups with private investors. It’s similar to watching Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary on Shark Tank except the investors aren’t rude or flaunting their net worth in your face. And even better, the pitches are from companies with products that could have a positive impact on the environment. We’re not talking about baked goods, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches or jewelry lines as we often see on Shark Tank. At Future Energy, you’re privy to seeing future clean energy technologies that will change the world.

Here’s a brief recap of the startups we learned about, including the top three pitches voted on by attendees.

First place: Cerahelix – the helix-NFM is a ceramic nanofilter that reduces the cost of manufacturing by conserving energy and freshwater resources.

Second place: Raja Systems – offers reliable, low-cost isolated power systems that enable a 50-to-80 percent reduction in OPEX for off-grid hybrid power systems with no hardware added.

Third place: Culture Fuels – a technology developer with an advanced cultivation platform that enables large-scale production of algae for use in producing biofuels, aviation fuels, feed, protein and nutraceuticals.

Other Pitches:

Senergy – a crowd-funded investing platform that finances solar energy projects that instantly achieve stable, real-time grid parity for municipal customers.

Spilvenger – offers low-cost, highly efficient robots that have a self-sustained, accurate automated feedback system that feed on collected spilled oil overseas.

StannTron –developing a novel chemical conversion technology of selective removal of CO2 to make bio-products that will enable widespread adoption of renewable biomass to fulfill much of our chemical, transportation and energy needs.

WattJoule – offers a next-generation flow battery product platform that provides cost effective energy storage to a vast global market.

Zephyr Energy – offers a non-rotating wind energy generator with a low wind speed requirement, compact form factor, safe operation and simple, low-cost design.

Curious about the insightful advice the panel of investors shared with these awesome startups? We captured a few major takeaways from the event.

  1. Does your product/service meet your customers’ needs and address their pain points? You might have the coolest technology on the block, but that doesn’t mean consumers will buy it.
  2. Of course you need to know how to sell your product/service, but you must know who will sell it with you. Anticipating your future channel partners is essential for success.
  3. Hit the bar with your co-founders, have two drinks apiece and discuss what success looks like to each of you. This vision may differ and it is incredibly important to be on the same page with your fellow founders. Also important to note: have two drinks so you speak your mind but no more than two because you may not remember what success looks like the next day.

Have you heard any great advice for cleantech startups? Share your tips with us at @hb_agency.

Mower

About Mower Boston

Boston's Mower office is a full-service technology marketing, PR and branding agency. Our B2B stories illustrate projects and campaigns in a variety of markets and media that range from local impact in Boston and New England to global proportions.

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