February 18th, 2019
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?)
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.
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.
Surprise us, and show us your tech can help build energy platforms for the future.
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.
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