Energy startup accelerator CLT Joules has selected four new companies to participate in its 2015 Energy Accelerator program to fast-track the growth of promising energy ventures. CLT Joules, which operated in 2014 with seven companies, is now expanding to include:
- Biomass Energy Enhancements, LLC (BEE) is focused on improving the quality of biomass feedstock to propel biomass into the energy mainstream. BEE’s proprietary process can reduce transportation costs up to 90% and greatly reduce downstream maintenance costs and forced outages. CEO Chas Fritz is a seasoned executive based in Zirconia, NC with a strong record of leadership and achievement, particularly as founder and CEO of NeoMedia Technologies.
- SAROS Desalination is creating and testing a wave driven, self-contained, seawater desalination system with a minimal operational carbon footprint. SAROS aims to utilize wave energy to provide inexpensive, clean water to areas struck by natural disasters, underdeveloped coastal regions, and other areas needing sustainable desalination solutions. The company began as a Senior Science Project at UNC-Charlotte with co-founders Chris Matthews and Justin Sonnet and has attracted initial sponsors.
- Verdante Bioenergy Services is focused on making bioenergy the most reliable renewable energy available. The company provides software and information technology to optimize biomass procurement, particularly from remote locations, and suggests competitive pricing in relevant product lines such as machinery, lubricants and other infrastructure requirements. David Waechter, founder of the Lenoir, NC based company, has a track record of innovation and cutting-edge business development experience.
- xSi Solar, LLC has developed leading edge crystalline silicon solar cell technologies that increase power production per solar panel, which are manufactured in the USA. Co-founders Chad Wolford and Dr. Ben Damiani are currently based in Chattanooga, Tennessee working with PV expert Dr. Ebong at UNC-Charlotte on technology development. Dr. Damiani was the first to implement ion implanted solar cells and advanced metallization in the USA.
The goals of the year-long Energy Accelerator program include connecting each participating company with mentors, infrastructure support, and prospective customers to drive jobs and attract capital. CLT Joules’ long term vision is to attract more startups to theCharlotte region by fueling breakthrough innovations in the energy sector.
Companies in the 2014 program have attracted over $6 million in funding to date and have generated 37 new jobs, including full- and part-time and internships. “Small businesses play a major role in job growth and economic vitality. CLT Joules is identifying high potential startups, attracting them to Charlotte and leveraging our ecosystem to foster growth and bolster our position as a national energy hub,” said Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter.
The companies were selected through an application process and industry panel interviews.