The Energetic Results of Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor

Photo Credit: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

In a January 2019 Forbes article, I mentioned that “Energy is one of the biggest investment opportunities on the planet today, but it is also hard to break into the massive global energy companies for a startup.” It is the breaking into of these massive companies that  we focus hard on in Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor. It’s fair to say it worked well for our 2018 class—and now we’re looking for a second class to do it again!

The inaugural 2018 class of Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor represented a broad range of technologies: from electrical airplanes and conversion of C02, all the way to smart cement and nanofluidic platforms for increased recovery of oil, to SaaS platforms developing large scale solar plants, and much more. In the end, we had applicants from 38 countries, we set up 1,150 individual mentor-meetings between the 10 companies and our 120+ mentors, and most importantly, more than half of our companies announced on Demo Day that they were moving forward in working with our corporate partners at Equinor and Kongsberg. In all, it was a very busy, but very rewarding three months!

I track this success back to the fact that we select outstanding teams to be part of Techstars Energy. More than 50% of the companies were already above 10 employees upon acceptance to the program, and several had raised over $1M before joining us. Our two corporate partners, Equinor and Kongsberg, were also key to these great results. One of the big benefits that this program offers founders is unprecedented access into the highest levels of these organizations. They are here to help Techstars entrepreneurs navigate the global energy space—and they do so with great insight and energy (no pun intended).

With applications open for the 2019 class, my expectations are high. The pressure is on to deliver an even better result this year. (I am a founder myself and I love the pressure and hustle, don’t you?)

Solving Global Energy Problems

All that said, we are thrilled to announce that applications are now open for year two of Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor!  

This year, we are excited to work with companies building tech enabled businesses, software, or hardware: we want companies focused on solving global energy problems with global potential.

We will continue to have a broad energy scope in focus. Companies working with renewables, oil & gas, digitalization, and new business models are encouraged to apply. Ultimately, we want to work with great entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds that are working on world-changing ideas. While not a complete list, here are our broad areas of focus for 2019 Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor:


Wind power, battery and storage solutions, distributed power, energy efficiency solutions…The list here is never ending.

Oil & Gas Technologies

This area is obvious for an energy major like Equinor. Getting hydrocarbons out of the ground more efficiently with less environmental impact is of natural interest.


The energy sector is fast becoming digital, and the areas of interest are as wide as this category’s name implies. Every enabling technology that makes an energy company more efficient and enables new ways of working is interesting.

New Business Models

Surprise us, and show us your tech can help build energy platforms for the future.

Platforms as Enablers

Energy is a massive industry with massive investments and massive opportunities for the right company. There are a variety of platforms and areas that may not be energy specific but can be leveraged by an energy major like Equinor and Kongsberg. Examples include: Robotics, Financial modeling, Energy Trading, AI / ML applications, Predictive Modeling, Cyber security, Blockchain solutions, and Safety.

Join Us for 2019!

We want to create the energy platforms of the future. We’re looking to be blown away by unique concepts. If you have a great team and a big vision, we want to hear from you.  

2019 Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor will start in beautiful Oslo, Norway on September 9, 2019. Right now, we are on a worldwide tour to meet founders who are solving real problems for the global energy sector. Applications close May 13, 2019, and we’ll be making our final selections in June. Be sure to watch this webinar to learn more about the program. You can also request office hours—one-on-one time with program staff to share details of what you’re working on and learn more about Techstars Energy in Partnership with Equinor. Or, if you’re ready, start your application now.

Announcing the First Class of the Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Equinor

We are thrilled to announce and welcome the first ten companies to Techstars Class 148, the Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Equinor. Techstars Energy will kick-off September 10th inside Equinor offices in Oslo with our Demo-day on December 5th.

Techstars Energy brings together four very strong networks, Equinor, Kongsberg, McKinsey and Techstars. Our one and only goal is to support and grow these ten incredible companies. Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed – their 1550 portfolio companies have raised over $5 billion in capital and 145 have had been acquired. Together, Equinor, Kongsberg, Mckinsey and Techstars create an unfair advantage for founders and give them the best chance for success.

From Left to Right: Jens Festervoll (Equinor), Audun Abelsnes (Techstars), Eldar Sætre (CEO, Equinor) & Alex Karevoll (Techstars)

In February 2018, I started a worldwide search that brought me to Singapore, New Delhi, Bangalore, Madrid, Copenhagen, Paris, London, NYC, Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans and Houston looking for world-class talent. I believe we found it. In addition to being selective, Techstars Energy is global and diverse. Entrepreneurs from Canada, UK, Spain, Denmark, Norway and the USA will spend three months inside Equinor’s stunning office in Oslo. They were selected from a strong global applicant pool focused around energy in a broad context.

I would like to thank our mentors, sponsors, partners and alumni for their generous support in this process. Special thanks to Equinor, Kongsberg and McKinsey for their true commitment to the success of Techstars Energy. Go team Techstars Energy!

Without further ado, here are the Techstars Energy companies:

Interface Fluidics

Interface Fluidics’ proprietary nanofluidic platform provides rapid lab testing that empowers the energy industry to understand how their chemicals perform, 100x faster and with more detail.


Ampaire is making flying accessible to more people from more airports by building electric aircraft that are greener, quieter, and less costly to operate.

Crux OCM

Crux OCM utilizes AI and real-time optimization to enable semi-autonomous operation of pipelines, reducing the risk of operation and increasing volumetric throughput up to 4%


The tech enabled tendering and supplier pre-qualification platform for oil & gas businesses.


Sensytec is developing a smart cement technology based on a proprietary additive to help companies enhance cement integrity by monitoring cement conditions near real-time.


Versor makes drone autonomy software for end-to-end infrastructure inspections, enabling AI-driven data capture and automatic fault detection across industrial applications.


Voyager is a cloud-based data hub helping the commodity shipping industry enhance decision making, automate processes and connect systems.


SafeEx’s software digitizes inspection and maintenance and saves their customers 25-40% on manpower.


RatedPower provides pvDesign, a cloud-based software to design large-scale solar power plants worldwide, in just a few minutes.

Opus 12

Converting CO2 into fuel and valuable products, the technology will contain the CO2 converting power of 37.000 trees in the volume of a suitcase.

Techstars Energy Opens Applications for First Program

Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil invests in companies developing energy platforms for the future. Along with our other partners, KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company, we are seeking innovative solutions within four areas of the energy sector: oil and gas, new business models, digitalization and renewables. While those are the focus, we are interested in every exciting technology that is enabling energy platforms for the future.

The Techstars Energy Accelerator starts in beautiful Oslo, Norway on September 10th, 2018. Right now, we’re starting a worldwide tour to meet founders who are solving real problems for the global energy sector. Applications close May 13th and we’ll be making our final selections in June. Please check out our landing page and make sure to watch our webinar, it should answer many of your questions.

In the next decade, massive change will happen in the energy sector. And with massive change comes massive opportunity and massive financial opportunity. That is where you come in, the entrepreneur, who can boldly challenge the current energy landscape. You are in luck, because with Techstars Energy, you will be surrounded by corporate partners like Statoil, Kongsberg and McKinsey that embrace this change and want to help you build your company and develop energy platforms for the future.

So, what kind of companies are we looking for? Techstars Energy is looking for startups working on scalable solutions within four main areas:

We are keeping this broad because we want to be surprised. Are you working on solutions for smart grids, digital twins, AI/ML, cybersecurity, blockchain, predictive maintenance, autonomous systems, sensors, additive manufacturing, AR/VR solutions, robotics, energy storage, increased recovery, wearables, IoT, drones? This list could go on. The point is that every enabling technology is relevant for Techstars Energy.

Is Techstars Energy the right accelerator program for you? Take a look at our travel schedule and request a meeting to show us what you are working on. Apply online here. Applications close May 13th, but please apply early!

See you out there!


Find us on tour!

KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company Join Techstars Energy Accelerator

I am very excited to announce two new powerful corporate partners to the Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil are: KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company.

KONGSBERG is a world class technology and innovation company with offices in more than 25 countries. They are a provider of next generation digital solutions to customers within maritime, oil & gas, renewables & utilities. Fun fact; KONGSBERG is a recognized leader in autonomous technology and delivered systems to an autonomous ship, which Elon Musk named «Tesla of the seas» on Twitter. Kongsberg also own and develops a digital ecosystem, Kognifai.

McKinsey & Company is a leading global management consulting firm with 27,000 employees in 60 countries. McKinsey has one of the world’s largest teams of energy practitioners and one of their main knowledge centers in Norway. McKinsey & Company is the world’s Top 7 employers according to Linkedin and has a reach into corporates around the world the matched by very few.

I am also excited to announce the overall theme for the accelerator, Energy Platforms for the Future. We are seeking innovative solutions in oil and gas businesses, including new business models, digitalization and renewables and every technology that is enabling energy platforms for the future.

Techstars along with these 3 powerful partners – Statoil, KONGSBERG and McKinsey & Company will turbocharge your startup. I double-dare you to seize the amazing opportunities made available to you and to be part of the Techstars Energy Accelerator hosted at Statoil’s iconic office in Oslo / Norway.

From Left: Jens Festervoll, Statoil’s Corporate Liaison for Techstars, Audun Abelsnes, Managing Director of Techstars Energy, Anders Brun, Partner McKinsey & Company and Jørn Seglem, Senior Vice President KONGSBERG (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil)


I sincerely look forward connecting with innovative energy startups all over the world. Applications open February 19th, please visit for more information on how to apply.

Announcing Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil

Techstars is excited to announce that we’re continuing to expand our global footprint. This time, we’re heading to the Nordics. We are proud to announce Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil. Norway is internationally recognized for Energy so it only makes sense that this is the focus of our first Norwegian accelerator. I am excited to be the managing director for this program.

The Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil will take place in Oslo, Norway. Applications open in February 2018 and the program kicks off September 2018. Stay tuned to learn more about where you can meet me as I tour the world looking for the best startups to join this new accelerator.

Energy is a broad and complex industry. Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil is focused on progressing and integrating new businesses. Companies in the program will focus on developing potentially transformative technologies and business models across the energy sector to improve safety, security, capital efficiency, operational performance and sustainability.

Statoil is an energy company committed to long term value creation in a low carbon future. With operations in 30 countries around the world, Statoil’s vision is to shape the future of energy.

Although this is our first accelerator in the Nordics, Techstars Startup Weekend has been active in the region since 2010 and more than 43 different Techstars Startup Weekend events throughout the Nordic countries.

Check out our page to sign up for our email list to get updates on Techstars Energy Accelerator in Partnership with Statoil meetups, webinars, and news on the application process.