Hawaii fast-pitch competition to showcase cleantech disruptors

VERGE Accelerate participant Sandra Kwak pitches to a panel of industry investors, including Nancy Pfund, Danny Kennedy and Shana Rappaport at VERGE 2015.

The following is a press release.

The 30-day nomination period kicked off today for the VERGE Accelerate fast-pitch competition taking place June 21-23 at the VERGE Hawaii: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit.

VERGE Accelerate, produced in partnership with the Hawaii State Energy Office and Energy Excelerator, elevates early-stage entrepreneurs whose innovations address market opportunities at the intersection of technology and sustainability. Presented as part of the VERGE Hawaii summit, the competition reinforces VERGE Hawaii's mission to foster innovative technologies and solutions that will enable Hawaii to fulfill its mandate to be 100 percent renewably powered in the electricity sector by 2045.

"Getting to 100 percent renewable energy demands that we invent a cleaner, more prosperous Hawaii," says Energy Excelerator Director, Dawn Lippert. "Together, Energy Excelerator and VERGE Accelerate are bringing new entrepreneurs and ideas to industry, government and investors in Hawaii."

GreenBiz Group is also collaborating with the United States Pacific Command, or PACOM, responsible for security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, to produce a series of pitch sessions tailored to DOD interests call VERGE Accelerate for Defense.

Selected entrepreneurs will participate in VERGE Hawaii Accelerate in one of two formats:

  • VERGE Accelerate Showcase: This fast-pitch competition takes place on the main stage of VERGE Hawaii to an audience of business leaders, government officials and investors, as well as to a global online audience. The Go-to-Market Showcase includes companies with less than $2 million in combined investment and revenue, while a separate Demonstration Showcase is for companies between $2-5 million. Presentations are complemented with editorial coverage on GreenBiz.com and other media, as well as published videos of the entrepreneur pitches combined investment and revenue.
  • VERGE Accelerate for Defense: Produced in collaboration with PACOM, these one-hour sessions give selected entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to pitch to and receive feedback from a panel of military officials, venture capitalists and corporate leaders, in one of three categories: Cybersecurity & Resilience for Critical Infrastructure, Expeditionary Energy Technologies and Waste Energy Recapture.

“The Department of Defense has aggressive goals in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy security,” says Ross Roley, PACOM’s Energy Innovation Office Lead. “We’re always on the lookout for technologies that will help us meet those goals and the VERGE Accelerate program is the perfect forum to identify possible solutions.”

Eligible entrepreneurs must:

  • Be developing technology commercially applicable products or services related to at least one of the following: distributed or renewable energy, transportation, agriculture, water or cybersecurity
  • Be incorporated and have a product ready for testing or deployment

“We are pleased that GreenBiz Group is bringing its acclaimed VERGE conference to Hawaii, and view the Accelerate program as a key element in ensuring the kind of innovative thinking we’ll need to meet the state’s 100 percent renewables goal,” Luis P. Salaveria, Director of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “We believe Hawaii’s clean energy initiatives will serve as a model for the rest of the world, aligning energy policy with social, environmental and economic goals.”

To learn more about VERGE Accelerate and submit a nomination, visit: https://www.greenbiz.com/events/verge/honolulu/2016/accelerate

About GreenBiz Group

GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE. For more information, visit https://www.greenbiz.com/about-us

About Energy Excelerator

Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy challenges, starting in Hawaii and Asia-Pacific. The program helps innovative companies with funding of up to $1M; introductions to investors, customers, and partners; and a vibrant ecosystem. To date, they have awarded $15M to 42 portfolio companies who have gone on to raise $223M in follow-on funding. Energy Excelerator’s dual-track program is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Hawaii, and its corporate sponsors such as GE Ventures, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Vector, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, DENSO, and Mathworks. Energy Excelerator operates as a program of the Hawaii-based nonprofit, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. For more information, visit www.energyexcelerator.com.

About the Hawaii State Energy Office

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is a division within the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.  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 leading proving ground for clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth. HSEO a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. For more information, visit www.energy.hawaii.gov.