The Energy Department recently announced the seven winners of the second round of the Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize Demo Day, which were chosen out of 19 finalist startups. Each of the contestants faced a diverse panel of judges and an audience of nearly 100 local and regional innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors as they demonstrated their energy software solutions in Philadelphia. Winners will receive up to $100,000 each to help advance their early-stage solutions toward commercialization.
The Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize program is designed to accelerate ubiquitous, affordable solar energy and energy-efficient building technology deployment by connecting American innovators to the tools, capabilities, data sets, and resources developed by the Energy Department and its national laboratories. The competition leverages each of these assets to boost cutting-edge clean tech companies and tackle time-sensitive market challenges. Here are the winners of the Catalyst prize competition and the challenge each is tackling:
- MySunBuddy—(Boston, Massachusetts) Sharing virtual net metered and community solar system solar production credits
- Solar Merchant—(Lake Forest, California) Tapping small commercial rooftop solar potential
- Pick My Solar, SolarBook—(Los Angeles, California) Developing a one stop shop for information about residential solar
- Hot4Solar—(San Francisco, California) Using peer networks to better target solar marketing
- Solar Land Solutions—(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Matching landowners and building owners with utility and community solar developers
- Livable Analytics—(Berkeley, California) Understanding how energy-saving technologies and building performance impact occupant satisfaction
- Kinetic Buildings—(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Developing low-cost automated diagnostics for commercial buildings.
The diverse panel of judges included leaders from government, energy technology, and venture-capital communities who evaluated the Catalyst competitors:
- Adam Agalloco—Energy Manager, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
- Dr. Cheryl Martin—Founder, Harwich Partners
- Roland Risser—Director, U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office
- Allan Schurr—President, Edison Energy
- Dr. Lidija Sekaric—Acting Director, U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative
Each of the winning teams received $30,000 to continue the refinement and development of their product. Over the next six months, the winners will be required to meet a series of progress milestones with the goal of introducing their products to the marketplace in the coming months. Upon successfully meeting those milestones, they will receive the remaining $70,000 of their $100,000 prize. The rigorous approach of the Catalyst program ensures that only the best innovations complete the four-step competition, and they depart primed for private follow-on investments.
The Energy Department also announced four winning teams from round one of Catalyst—first revealed in May—who have been participating in the Catalyst program for the past six months. Based on their overall performance, the first three teams listed below each received $70,000 to help commercialize their promising solar technologies and one team received $50,000. Those teams include:
- PVComplete (Oakland, California)
- Solar Site Design (Nashville, Tennessee)
- UtilityAPI (Oakland, California)
- Gridmates Inc. (Austin, Texas)