14 finalists announced for Hawaii startup pitch competition

A VERGE Accelerate finalist pitches to the expert judges at VERGE 15 in San Jose. 

The following is a press release.

Fourteen startups have been selected to advance to the final stage of the VERGE Hawaii Accelerate pitch competition following a two-week public voting period, during which more than 9,000 votes were cast.

The 14 finalists are: 10Power, Axiom Exergy, EiP Technologies, Fresher.io, GOmeter, Ibis Networks, Impact Bioenergy, Prodegi Energy, SeaChange Technologies, SimpliPhi Power, SkyCentrics, Smart Yields, UtilityAPI and Vartega.

VERGE Accelerate, produced by GreenBiz Group in partnership with the Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) and the Energy Excelerator, provides global exposure for early-stage entrepreneurs whose innovations address market opportunities at the intersection of technology and sustainability. As part of the VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, the competition’s mission is to support the innovative technologies that will enable Hawaii to fulfill its mandate to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2045.

“We are excited to see these entrepreneurs take center stage at VERGE Hawaii,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), which oversees HSEO. “The core of VERGE is to focus on a new energy ecosystems, made possible by innovative thinkers and new technology.”

These 14 finalists will progress to the next round of the competition, delivering their pitches from the VERGE Hawaii stage to business leaders, government officials and investors, as well as to a global online audience.

Finalists were selected based on the market opportunity their company addresses, the differentiation of their solution, and were informed by community votes. Their innovations represent the diversity of topics explored at VERGE — energy, buildings, food and agriculture, transportation and water systems.

“Selecting finalists from a strong pool of applicants is never easy,” said Shana Rappaport, director of engagement for VERGE. “We are excited that VERGE Hawaii will provide a global platform for these 14 innovators and entrepreneurs to showcase their solutions and make valuable connections to advance them.”

To learn more about VERGE Hawaii Accelerate, visit: www.greenbiz.com/events/verge/honolulu/2016/accelerate

About the Hawaii State Energy Office

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, HSEO is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawaii’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawaii as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth.

About Energy Excelerator

Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy challenges, starting in Hawaii. The program helps innovative companies with funding up to $1M, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem of partners. To date, they have awarded $15M to 42 portfolio companies and launched 14 demonstration projects in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific. Portfolio companies have gone on to raise over $220M in follow-on funding and scale their Energy Excelerator demonstration projects to larger markets. Energy Excelerator’s dual-track program is primarily funded by U.S. Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Hawaii, and its corporate partners, GE Ventures, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Vector, Hawaii Community Foundation, DENSO, and Mathworks. Energy Excelerator operates as a program of Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, a Hawaii-based non-profit. For more information, please visit www.energyexcelerator.com.

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