What is the Free Electrons Accelerator?
Free Electrons is the world's first clean tech energy start-up accelerator that connects the most world's most promising clean energy start-ups with globally recognised utilities and investors. ESB and 7 other utility companies have partnered with the program. The program has attracted over 450 start-ups to the competition from around the globe.
The aim accelerator programme was to recruit 12 energy start-ups to help drive the next generation of ideas in clean energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility and on-demand customer services. ESB and the consortium of utility companies and other partners are supporting support these start-ups to refine their products and services, with the potential of testing and developing them for a global customer base. Collectively, the eight utility companies have a combined market base of 73 million customers located in more than 40 countries.
These final 12 companies will partake in customer adoption modules in Silicon Valley, Lisbon/Dublin and Singapore over a six month period.
Module 1 - Silicon Valley, United States
With the 12 finalists selected the partners began an immersion week in the global capital of technology innovation, Silicon Valley. The 20 organisations learned alot from one another, given a chance to meet in 1-2-1's, workshops and seminars centered on the idea of clean energy commercialization and the piloting process. Start ups came away with the ability to speak the language of utility companies, enabling more fluent communication of there business ideas.
Module 2, Part 1 - Lisbon, Portugal
The first stop in module 2 is the City of Lisbon.One of the fastest growing tech hubs in Europe. The start-ups will continue to learn about the utilities from a European perspective. Once the workshops are all over, the next stop is the Gateway to Europe, Dublin.
Module 2, Part 2 - ESB's Pitch Off, Dublin, Ireland
The Dublin event will see the 12 start-ups compete for the first of 2 prizes. $25,000 USD will be awarded to the best pitch. A competition lead by ESB's Innovation Team will see the final 12 pitch for a chance to win funding in front of the local start up and investment community.
Module 3 - The Final, Signapore
Taking place this September in Signapore, the 12 will once again compete in the final pitching competition for $175,000 (USD) The event includes granular utility/startup contract discussions, an overview of Singapore’s startup ecosystem and market, a final pitch event, and an awards ceremony. This final module is focused on contracting pilot projects between the startups and utilities.