After three months of intense focus, camaraderie and virtual learning, we are pleased to announce Neothermal Energy Storage as the Energy 2021 winner. The company, which offers supplemental electric thermal storage (ETS) systems using salt hydrate to electrify residential boilers and furnaces, won a $25,000 cash prize and a pilot project awarded by Burlington Electric Department (BED). BED also awarded a pilot project to Arc Industries, and Green Mountain Power (GMP) awarded a pilot project to Grid Fruit. Read the recap here.
To be part of a competitively-selected cohort of startup ventures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy-related products or services for residential and small business customers. Selection will focus on companies that are entering or currently at a pilot or demonstration stage and planning for scale.
This fifth DeltaClimeVT business accelerator program is designed to accelerate the drive to a zero-carbon future for Vermont by helping Vermont’s utilities increase adoption of clean energy technologies and smart building technologies, and better integrate distributed energy resources. Entrepreneurs will be working directly with Vermont utilities to contribute to Vermont’s 90/50 and Burlington’s Net Zero by 2030 goals.
The program is applicable to startup companies from anywhere in Canada and the United States that see value in piloting their products and services in the Vermont market.
We are particularly interested in services and technologies that have wide potential applicability with rural populations and can enable small businesses, low and moderate-income populations and multi-family building residents to contribute to to the low-carbon economy.
Examples of technologies or services could include but are not limited to:
- Products or services that create faster and more efficient installation and adoption of energy efficient technologies;
- Data gathering and energy analytics software that enables greater adoption of energy efficient technologies and services;
- Smart building technologies such as building controls, smart thermostats, EV charging supply equipment and other devices that could align with utility demand response signals;
- Localized or micro energy management and storage technologies and related services that enhance end user adoption;
- Solutions to bring reliable connectivity (e.g. broadband) to rural communities and therefore enable rural communities to adopt behind the meter technologies;
- Financing models for energy technologies and services (e.g. innovative loans, on-bill financing, heating as a service); and
- Any other technology or service that enables the reduction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings or supports demand management in buildings.
About the Program
The DeltaClimeVT business accelerator program is managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and facilitated by ecosVC. The program is centered around the ecosVC Lens of the Market® ACCELERATED curriculum, designed to ensure participating startups produce a well grounded case for their business and are able to articulate a compelling plan for success to investors.
The program features an extensive online curriculum plus 1-1’s facilitated by ecosVC principals, active engagement with sponsoring Vermont utilities, business mentors, investors and successful venture leaders. Startups must have at least two senior members of their team actively participate in all aspects of the program. The program includes four intensive online sessions (each 2-4 days in duration), weekly assignments and bi-weekly webinars as well as frequent 1:1 engagement with program leaders and mentors. Active engagement and peer-mentoring by participants is an essential part of the program and a final prize of $25,000 was provided to a peer-selected company. The DeltaClimeVT program managers work to ensure that startups in the cohort are non-competitive.
We are honored that the award came from the peers. Everybody has been so helpful and we are really grateful that we were able to take part in this group this year. I feel like we were all able to really move forward during the past few months.
Andluca Technologies, a Princeton University spin-out, has developed UV-solar-powered smart glass for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Andluca’s patented technologies can reduce building energy use by up to 40% while significantly enhancing occupant comfort and productivity. Unlike available wired smart glass products – which require major renovation and installation by an electrician – Andluca’s wireless smart glass can be installed quickly and non-disruptively. Andluca was established in 2017 following over 12 years of research on light-responsive materials and films by Professor Lynn Loo and her team at the Organic and Polymer Electronics Laboratory at Princeton University. andluca.com New Jersey
ARC Industries designs and manufactures vertical axis wind turbines. The company’s new cutting-edge turbine design addresses the many issues that have traditionally plagued small wind turbines. It is ARC Industries’ mission to make renewable energy affordable and accessible to everyone. arcindustries.co Massachusetts
Bloomcradle’s mission is to engage, connect, and mobilize the public and leaders through accessible and educational storytelling to drive local community and large-scale action for a sustainable future. bloomcradle.com Vermont
Flick Power was developed in California to help take advantage of new time-based electric rates and reduce carbon emissions from dirtier energy sources that are used during peak energy times. While other devices can automate select lighting and appliances, Flick helps you maximize the value of all of those devices, plus others that can be shifted to cleaner and cheaper times of the day. Flick is built with proven smart switch technology, with just the right amount of intelligence to help people within a building make better decisions about their energy use. flickpower.com California
Grid Fruit provides software that reduces energy and maintenance costs for food businesses. We use previously untapped data through AI software to bring energy efficiency and power grid incentives to refrigeration and HVAC. gridfruit.com Pennsylvania
Neothermal Energy Storage offers homeowners the first integrated, supplemental electric thermal storage (ETS) system for boilers and furnaces that reduces fossil fuel use by up to 90%, lowering GHG emissions and monthly energy bills. Neothermal ETS enables the switch from oil (or other fossil fuels) to low-cost, off-peak electricity that capitalizes on the existing heat distribution infrastructure, fitting the needs of older, average-sized homes. When the existing fuel-burning system expires, customers can purchase an electric boiler or furnace (with or without a heat pump) and still enjoy the benefits of their connected Neothermal ETS. Founded in 2015, the core technology inside Neothermal ETS was developed by Dr. Louis Desgrosseilliers during his PhD studies on salt hydrate thermal storage at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Neothermal Energy Storage is committed to building a clean energy future. neothermal.ca Nova Scotia
The YellowTin cloud-based, data-driven platform educates and empowers consumers to make informed decisions, so that they can switch to cost-effective, electricity-based solutions at their own pace. By working with power providers such as utilities, community choice aggregators (CCAs), cities, solar panel installers and corporates, YellowTin is more than just fun planning software. We accelerate the adoption of clean technologies, such as residential solar, battery storage, electric vehicles and heat pumps. Fully configurable, our software effectively serves the needs of our customers and enables our users to reduce their carbon footprint and their annual spend on energy. YellowTin envisions a future of accessible technology and unbiased information for a more sustainable, better quality of life for every household. yellowtin.com California
Coming out of DeltaClimeVT Energy2020, we feel confident in our investor pitch and have a clear value proposition for our target market. The team has deep expertise, great industry connections, and true passion for helping every company in the cohort succeed.
“We have participated in a few similar programs, but so far, DeltaClimeVT facilitators have shown a whole new level of sophistication! Thank you so much for all the work you are putting in this program. We are truly enjoying it.”
“We plan to use the $25,000 prize money to continue to develop our software product and serve clients in Vermont and greater New England. Onboard provides analytics software to uncover hidden energy, maintenance and comfort problems in commercial buildings. These problems are a significant reason commercial buildings emit more harmful emissions than transportation or industry. We’re thankful to Vermont, the program managers and sponsors of DeltaClimeVT, and the cohort of entrepreneurs that supported us this summer. We absolutely enjoyed our time in Burlington. We’ll be here frequently to serve clients and, if possible, establish a remote presence in this great city!”
At DeltaClimeVT, we tap an innovative group of leaders who are subject matter experts and/or have deep entrepreneurial and investment experience, based on the needs of each cohort selected.
Program Officer in Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Marilyn Waite is currently the Program Officer, Climate and Clean Energy Finance at the Hewlett Foundation in Silicon Valley. She formerly lead the energy practice at Village Capital, where she found, trained and invested in ventures solving pressing challenges in the energy sector. Marilyn has worked across four continents in investment (Lincoln International), public policy (National Academy of Sciences), and nuclear and renewable energy (AREVA). Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn also serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and is a former Senior Research Fellow at Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown. Marilyn holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.
General Manager, Burlington Electric Department
Darren Springer is the General Manager at Burlington Electric Department (BED). He previously served as Burlington Electric’s Chief Operating Officer and led the Center for Innovation team which includes the Policy & Planning, Finance, Information Technology and Energy Services divisions.
Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working in the Governor’s Office, Darren was appointed as Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Public Service Department, leading the advancement of the 2014 net metering law and 2015 renewable energy standard.
Darren worked for 4 years in the Washington, D.C. Office of U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy & Environment, and later as Chief Counsel. He has also worked for the National Governors Association as Program Director for Energy and Transportation. Darren has a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and earned a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. While at Vermont Law School, he was selected as Managing Editor of the Vermont Law Review, and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the Vermont Bar, Virginia Bar, and Florida Bar. Darren has also served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont.
General Manager, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority
Since 2016, Ken Nolan has served as Vermont Public Power Supply Authority’s (VPPSA) General Manager. He joined the Authority with more than 30 years of electric utility experience. Previously, he held positions in power supply and resource planning, including 10 years at VPPSA (1988 to 1998). He then moved to the municipal utility, Burlington Electric Department, where he progressed his career from resource planning and management to Chief Operations Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation. In addition to his responsibilities with VPPSA, Ken serves on the Boards of Directors for Vermont Electric Power Company, Hometown Connections Inc., and VEPP Inc. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.
Innovation Strategist, Green Mountain Power
Graham is a member of the Innovation Development team at Green Mountain Power (GMP). His work involves designing and executing innovative pilot projects, which test new technologies and business models. These efforts contribute to GMP’s larger mission to transform our energy system into one that is more distributed, carbon-free, and community-centered, while reducing costs and increasing reliability for customers. Prior to GMP, Graham completed a Fulbright grant in Sweden on peer-to-peer solar energy markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in computer science.
Joseph Steig is a principal at ecosVC, a consulting and training company for STEM ventures. He also consults with companies and investors in a CFO capacity. He currently works with LRVHealth, a healthcare venture fund based in Boston, and with IUNU, an agriculture technology company based in Seattle. Joseph has worked in a diverse range of industries from aquaculture to software and has extensive consulting experience with universities and innovators on technology commercialization.
Joseph serves on the Board of Directors of Greentown Learn, the educational non-profit affiliated with the world’s largest clean tech incubator, Greentown Labs. He went to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and divides his time between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. More information at www.steig.com.
Business Assistance Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Geoff Robertson joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2017 as Director of Business Assistance. In this role he manages a suite of business assistance services to help Vermont business owners and management teams advance profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development. Most recently Geoff held the position of CEO at Empower Mobility, a mobile platform and software company, where he was responsible for managing business development, human resources, and finances. As the CFO at School Spring, LLC, Geoff negotiated the successful sale of the cloud based recruitment and applicant tracking system for K – 12 schools. He previously served as the Entrepreneurial Advisor at Davis & Hodgdon CPAs serving School Spring, the Vermont Food Venture Center, and many other small businesses in Vermont.
Energy Innovation Manager, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.
Richard Donnelly is the Energy Innovation Manager at Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. and previously worked as Senior Manager, Emerging Technologies & Services at Efficiency Vermont. Richard’s professional background includes economic development, telecom, small business management, and as a chef. Richard is a senior fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program and specializes in systems-thinking, human-centered design, business modeling, value proposition design, and strategy development.
Janice St. Onge
Flexible Capital Fund
Janice St. Onge is Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund President and President of the Flexible Capital Fund (the Flex Fund). Janice brings economic and business development as well as financial expertise to the organization, having served in the technology and financial services industries, as well as higher education and state government sectors during the last 25-years. Early in her career, Janice served ten years at Peoples United Bank in Connecticut in retail management, commercial real estate lending (managing a $21 million portfolio) and organizational development roles.
Vice President of Strategic Innovation, Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO)
A high-performing senior energy executive and successful tech startup founder, Johnson Kerrick delivers results. He identifies, develops and collaboratively executes strategic initiatives, builds effective advocacy relationships and secures stakeholder alignment through imaginative messaging. Having served in key leadership roles over the past decade of energy sector transformation, Johnson is recognized as a seasoned, frequently provocative, public speaker, and thought leader who has catalyzed many creative energy sector conversations at diverse conferences, workshops, symposiums, and executive gatherings. He currently serves on GridWise Alliance, Renewable Energy Vermont and the Howard Center boards.
DID YOU KNOW?
DeltaClimeVT offers cohort members more than 35 hours of time with mentors, investors and potential customers?
DeltaClimeVT coordinates with mentors comprised of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, business advisors and investors throughout the program. Cohort members work directly with mentors during the three sprints in addition to socializing with them at extracurricular social events as well as other business events.
Norwich Solar Technologies
DeltaClimeVT relies on sponsorships to execute successful cohorts. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please contact Geoff@vsjf.org.