Hawaii ‘Energy Excelerator’ gets $30M from Navy


The Navy’s Office of Naval Research, under the Asia Pacific Technology Education Program, announced today that it will invest $30 million dollars in the Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator.

The Energy Excelerator helps innovative energy startups succeed in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region with non-dilutive funding, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem. The startup program has helped 17 energy companies bring technologies to market and raise follow-on funding of over $38 million.

The new Navy commitment triples the funding that the program operated with over the past three years, showing that they recognize the value of Hawaii as an ideal place for new energy innovation.

The Energy Excelerator funds seed-stage and growth-stage startups with compelling energy solutions and immediate application in Hawaii.

“Hawaii has the best economic conditions for launching a clean energy company on the planet. We have electricity prices that are quadruple the average on the U.S. mainland, we pioneered the most aggressive clean energy goals in the country because our government is very serious about getting off imported oil, and we already have a deep bench of renewable resources that we are looking to integrate more powerfully,” says Dawn Lippert, Senior Manager of the Energy Excelerator.

The Energy Excelerator looks for technologies that can solve real-time problems such as managing renewables on the grid, integrating smart energy efficiency technologies, and reducing the use of oil in transportation. Once companies have proven their technologies and successfully delivered in Hawaii, they become very attractive to island nations in the Asia Pacific, as well as certain markets on the U.S. mainland.

“The Energy Excelerator is unique in that they’re not afraid of hardware companies. They know what will succeed in these markets, and they’re very focused on helping companies win customers,” Patti Glaza, Principal of Arsenal Venture Partners.

For seed-stage companies with a working prototype, the Energy Excelerator awards nondilutive funding up to $100,000 to develop and execute their go-to-market strategy, aided by a team of experienced mentors. For growth-stage companies with significant customer traction, the program awards up to $1 million of grant funding for a project in Hawaii. Growth-stage projects require 50/50 cost-share with customer financing or private capital.

“The Energy Excelerator was transformative for us,” says Michael Pfeffer, CEO of Ibis Networks. “We went from a cool technology with big aspirations to a company with angel investors, a differentiated value proposition, and real customers. It’s exciting to see ONR doubling down on this excellent program.”

The Energy Excelerator is currently accepting applications for its next round. The program attracts hundreds of applicant companies, and selects less than 5 percent for funding.

Photo from Energy Excelerator/HawaiiRenewable.com

About the Energy Excelerator

The Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy challenges, starting in Hawaii. We help innovative energy companies succeed in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region with non-dilutive funding, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem. A project of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR). Connect with the Energy Excelerator on Facebook, on Twitter at @Energy_Excel, or on LinkedIn.


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