Solar panel upcycling company ElecSome and electric vehicle manufacturer Savic Motorcycles are among 10 innovative startups that have been selected by a committee of angel investors for EnergyLab's 2023 Climate Solutions Accelerator cohort.
The six-month program will help startups from Australia and New Zealand accelerate the deployment of their climate solutions at home and abroad.
Co-founded by sustainability consultant James Tilbury, prolific media investor Piers Grove and Nickel Energy managing director Nick Lake, EnergyLab has supported more than 160 startups and 125 aspiring founders since it first started as a predominantly clean energy-focused accelerator in late 2015.
Companies the non-profit has backed include Amber, Sicona Battery Technologies, and 2022 Climate Solutions Accelerator alumnus Allegro Energy, which makes non-flammable redox flow batteries (RFBs) that don't rely on rare elements.
Just recently, Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) invested $4 million in Allegro for a 5 per cent stake, alongside a pilot of the technology at Origin's Eraring power station.
"EnergyLab was transformational for Allegro Energy and we are grateful to have been able to participate in this outstanding program," says Allegro Energy CEO and co-founder Thomas Naan.
"EnergyLab was a great experience overall. This includes the programme itself, the mentors, the topics; everything was relevant and very beneficial.
"However, the best experience was connecting with other like-minded founders, some at later stages of the journey, some at earlier stages. For us, the interactions with these founders were as helpful as the advice from the experienced mentors."
EnergyLab CEO Megan Fisher says the process of selecting the 2023 startup cohort highlights the increasing maturity of the clean energy and climate tech startup ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand, describing the technologies and intellectual property being developed by these startups as "remarkable".
"This year's cohort is working on everything from low emissions aviation and steel production to more effective management of wind and solar resources to the much needed capability to recycle solar panels and batteries at the end of life," she says.
"This program will support these startups to get to their next level of growth, ready to take these essential solutions to the world."
Meet the EnergyLab 2023 Climate Solutions Accelerator cohort
Bygen is the a producer of sustainable and tailored activated carbon. The company enables the low-cost and carbon-negative production of a vital material that is widely used in water treatment, precious metal recovery, and energy storage.
"We're really looking forward to being a part of this EnergyLab cohort. In terms of high-quality mentoring, support in business development, and expanding our network in the ClimateTech space, it was a no-brainer for us to apply. Learning from other founders and peers in this space will also be invaluable for our company," says Bygen founder and CEO Lewis Dunnigan.
Orkestra is reinventing feasibility analysis for new energy projects making it easy, fast and accurate. Orkestra's cloud-based software empowers teams to sell, consult and invest in commercial and industrial solar, batteries and EV charger projects, thus removing significant barriers to growth and investment in new energy.
"Orkestra is now used by nearly every Tier 1 and 2 energy company and solar installer in Australia selling commercial solar and battery solutions. We see EnergyLab as a critical enabler in assisting Orkestra to expand to overseas markets," says Orkestra co-founder and co-CEO James Allston.
TasmanIon develops aluminium-ion battery technology, offering a safe, sustainable, and more cost-effective alternative to current technologies such as lithium-ion.
"As a young startup, we look forward to the program, and finding the right strategies to take TasmanIon to new heights in the battery industry. Networking with the cleantech community will be crucial for us to understand the requirements at the global level," says TasmanIon CEO Shalini Divya.
ElecSome is setting up the first solar panel upcycling plant in Australia, with patented tech in association with the Department of Industry, The University of Melbourne and RMIT. Their mission is to manage the 78 million metric tonnes of solar waste produced globally.
"Resource recovery and upcycling is the next gen mining and a multi-billion-dollar opportunity. At the same time, it’s our responsibility to have an effective solution for solar waste in place for future generations. With the EnergyLab team’s help we are aiming to educate and motivate all via a global network to promote responsible upcycling and resource recovery," says ElecSome managing director Neeraj Das.
Renewable Metals is on a mission to turn battery waste into battery metal. Its novel process and technology recovers critical metals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper from end-of-life and scrap batteries.
"Looking forward to the workshops on partnerships and international expansion and incorporating the learnings as we scale up from our pilot phase," says Renewable Metals CEO Luan Atkinson.
Savic Motorcycles is Australia's own high-performance electric motorcycle manufacturer, leading the charge in the electric mobility revolution. Its innovative approach to design and engineering results in sleek and powerful two-wheeled e-mobility solutions, breaking free from traditional limitations and offering sustainable solutions for riders everywhere.
“Being part of the Climate Solutions Accelerator is an incredible opportunity, as it not only provides vital investment but also connects me with top climate tech investors in Australia," says Savic Motorcycles CEO Dennis Savic.
"Moreover, having the support of EnergyLab's extensive network of mentors, investors, and industry professionals is invaluable, and I'm determined to make a meaningful difference with their guidance. I'm truly grateful for being selected for this accelerator and excited to embark on this journey alongside fellow founders."
Dovetail Electric Aviation makes zero emissions commercial aviation possible by developing, certifying and distributing electric powered propulsion systems for existing commuter aircraft, and converting legacy aircraft into electric, reducing operations costs along the way.
Emmi provides financial institutions with the net zero toolkit they need to explore the impact of carbon on the value of their portfolio, then navigate the transition to net zero with confidence.
Perl Street is a financial asset management-as-a-service business financing and managing emerging distributed physical infrastructure assets such as rooftop solar panels, batteries, heat pumps, and e-mobility machines.
Pyrochar is scaling a proven technology to produce net-zero metallurgical char that will replace coal/coke in the primary metals industry. Initially developed by CSIRO, their patented technology enables self-sustaining pyrolysis for metallurgical use.
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