Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO), together with 7 other international utilities, announced the launch of the second edition of Free Electrons, a global startup acceleration program to recruit energy startups that will drive the next generation of ideas in clean energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, digitization, and on-demand customer services. Startups chosen for Free Electrons participate in three separate week-long acceleration modules in San Francisco and two other locations around the world. Free Electrons was initiated by eight international utilities, AusNet Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), ESB (Electricity Supply Board), EDP (Energias de Portugal), innogy, Origin Energy, SP Group and TEPCO.
A win-win approach for startups and utilities
The utilities and accelerators behind the Free Electrons program are committed to a future where energy is smart, clean and accessible to everyone. The global accelerator program is designed for energy startups to further refine their products and services, with the potential of testing and developing them to a global customer base of 73 million. Industry leaders will offer expertise, resources and access to their customer base in exchange for investment and partnership opportunities.
A global calling
The utility partners in Free Electrons are leaders in the clean energy transition, covering more than 40 countries, representing over $148 billion in combined net income and access to over 73 million end customers worldwide.
Energy startups around the world with a working prototype are encouraged to apply to Free Electrons. Twelve energy startups will be selected by the eight utility partners to participate in the six-month accelerator program.
The call for the world’s energy startups starts on 12 December 2017. The application deadline is on 9 February 2018. The selection period is in March 2018 and the selected startups will be announced by the end of March 2018. Interested applicants can apply for the Free Electrons program at http://www.freetheelectron.com/.
The 8 Free Electrons utility members are: Ausnet Services (Australia), DEWA (Dubai), EDP (Portugal), ESB (Ireland), Innogy (Germany), Origin (Australia), SP (Singapore) and TEPCO (Japan). Together they represent an aggregated customer base of 73 million and develop activities in over 40 countries all over the planet. The Free Electrons program connects startups with each of the 8 utilities experts and key decision makers generating a very significant deal flow of pilot projects, partnerships, commercial contracts and investment.
In September 2017 at the final module for Free Electrons in Singapore, the global financial value of the contracts signed between the 12 startups and the 8 utilities was about $2 million, with a pipeline of opportunities being developed reaching over $12 million.
Free Electrons first edition took place between May and September of 2017 and passed by San Francisco, Lisbon, Dublin and Singapore. BeOn, a Portuguese company that sells integrated plug-and-play solar kits, including a solar panel and their own proprietary micro-inverter, was the winner, having signed several agreements with member utilities and receiving an award of $175,000.
The other startups selected as finalists in Free Electrons 2017 edition included, Aperio (Israel), Climote (Ireland), DataGlen (India), Depsys (Switzerland), Driivz (Israel), EthosGen (USA), Greencom (Germany), HST (USA), Ohm Connect (USA), Simple Energy and Tempus (UK).
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totalled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information, visit http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/index-e.html