Beta-I Alumni Get 10% Of Top 100 Energy Startups List


It’s been a nice week of news for Beta-i ecosystem. After Beta-i was honored as one of the best financial innovation labs in the world, in the Innovators 2019, several Beta-i alumni take the spotlight as they are in the Top 100 Energy Startups of 2019 by Startup Energy Transition.

These energy startups are all alumni from open-innovation programs powered by Beta-i. We’re proud to see their achievement, as we were of the collaborations and projects they worked on while in the programs. They were distinguished in the categories of Intelligent GridsInnovative Mobility and Energy Efficiency.

Free Electrons Alumni


Category: Intelligent Grids

Country: Switzerland

Adaptricity offers data driven grid analytics tools and services that enable distribution system operators to better understand grid behaviour, leading to smarter grid planning and asset management. The highly automated, intuitive system allows for better investment decisions requiring less engineering time.



Category: Innovative Mobility

Country: Israel

Chakratec has developed a special energy storage device – a kinetic battery with unlimited charge cycles, 100% DoD, instant reaction that is sustainable. They aim to speed up battery charging through a unique floating flywheels suspended in mid-air by magnetic levitation technology.



Category: Intelligent Grids Intelligent Grids – Finalist

Country: Germany

envelio provides the software as a service solution Intelligent Grid Platform (IGP) to make grid operators ready for the future. By digitising and automating essential grid planning and operation processes, the IGP is a key component for the implementation of smart grids and the integration of distributed generation.



Category: Energy Efficiency – Finalist

Country: China

Equota’s services cover both the energy supply and the demand side, including energy efficiency optimization, operation & maintenance monitoring, carbon emission management, energy planning, electricity trading services, micro-grid services and other technology solutions in the industrial chain.



Category: Energy Efficiency

Country: Usa

Description: Hygge Power combines smart sensors, tier-1 lithium ion and AI to create the next-gen storage that people want in their homes/offices. Real-time data is collected and transmitted to an encrypted repository to integrate energy partners & Hygge’s own web-based dashboard.



Category: Energy Efficiency

Country: Netherlands

OneWatt, focuses on predictive maintenance for industrial motors. They use their Embedded Acoustic Recognition Sensor (EARS), machine learning, and frequency analysis to detect and predict motor faults before they occur.



Category: Energy Efficiency

Country: Australia

Relectrify is an Australian start-up enabling uniquely capable, affordable and sustainable battery storage. They have developed advanced battery control solutions that give used batteries, including from EVs, a second life as energy storage in solar homes, businesses and the power grid.



Category: Intelligent Grids

Country: Lithuania

WePower is the next generation green energy procurement and trading platform. Their platform is a one-stop-shop solution that provides companies with tools to help in understanding electricity consumption patterns, finding a best fit renewable electricity producer, contracting with them digitally and then monitoring generators.


EDP Open Innovation Alumnus


Category: Intelligent Grids

Country: France

Odit-e develops software for supervision and decision support, dedicated to distribution system operators. Odit-e builds an empirical model of low voltage electrical networks from smart meter data without using physical characteristics.


SOL Housing Alumnus


Category: Energy Efficiency

Country: Italy

Enerbrain aims to revolutionize the market of non-residential Building Energy Management Systems thanks to its groundbreaking IoT innovation. Their solution make inefficient nonresidential buildings into smarter and more sustainable ones by using innovative IoT sensors, actuators and learning algorithms.


New Angel Fund Wants to Invest Only in Colorado

Paul Foley-Founder of SmartCapital

Paul Foley-Founder of SmartCapital

When Paul Foley co-founded his startup Augur in Denver in 2015, he couldn’t find Colorado investors who were willing to write him checks.

“We ended up struggling raising from Colorado,” the Colorado native said. “We ended up raising from New York and Toronto.”

Augur, which helped ad tech and security companies recognize the devices their consumers were using, ended up selling to BounceX about two years ago for $12 million.

Foley, 30, a graduate of the University of Michigan, pocketed more than $1 million from the sale and began dabbling in investing. He put money into Denver-based Sheets & Giggles and San Francisco-based Sage AI. And he began thinking of how he could help local startup founders avoid the problem he had in 2015.

“I was really interested in getting more VC funding here in Colorado,” he said.

Foley founded SmartCapital, an effort to build the number of local angel investors backing Colorado startups. In January, he began searching for the 25 startups he found to be the state’s most promising, based on revenue growth and their ability to raise funding in the past. He wanted companies with the highest likelihood of giving investors at least a 3X return.

Now, SmartCapital is trying to raise a $10 million fund to be invested into those startups.

While Colorado has accelerators such as Techstars and the Rockies Venture Club, Foley believes the state doesn’t have enough Colorado-based funding for Series A and Series B rounds. A 2018 report by the Rockies Venture Club found companies in New York, San Francisco and Boston received 76 percent of venture capital in the previous year.

Investors willing to put up between $30,000 and $500,000 can join the fund. Foley said his goal is to lure 250 investors, but he refused to disclose how many investor commitments he has so far.

The money invested in each of the 25 companies won’t be equal, because it will depend on startup valuation, Foley said.

Foley believes that for investors to get a good return, they need to write checks for a diverse range of startups, upwards of 25. And in order to participate in investment rounds at promising companies, he said investors typically have to put $25,000 forward, meaning they’re spending at least $625,000.

With SmartCapital, he said, investors can invest in 25 companies with only $30,000. The company benefits from federal legislation signed into law last year that increased the number of angel investors allowed to join a small fund from 99 to 250.

“That allows us to get more people in with smaller checks,” Foley said. “That way, more people could participate.”

The pitch to investors, Foley said, is that SmartCapital already has done the legwork to find the right companies to bet on: the ones that have raised money and have growing revenue.

“It’s giving them a very convenient way to be able to invest,” Foley said.

SmartCapital’s portfolio of 25 wide-ranging Colorado startups includes plenty of software startups, in addition to a Boulder-based online retail company selling party clothing and accessories, a tea startup and a fitness recovery product.

SmartCapital — based on Commons on Champa, at 1245 Champa St. — charges a 1 percent management fee per year. It also will take 20 percent of the overall profits.

Here’s a list of the 25 companies that SmartCapital plans to invest in:

SmartCapital-portfolio (1).jpg

Alpin: Boulder-based software management startup

Blink: Online mortgage startup

Brandzooka: Boulder-based online and video advertising firm

CaliberMind: Boulder-based customer data and revenue-tracking software startup

Community Funded: Fort Collins-based startup connecting philanthropic organizations with donors

Copper: Boulder-based energy-monitoring startup

Cusa Tea: Boulder-based instant tea company

EnVision Meditation: Denver-based meditation app

Flytedesk: Boulder-based college advertising startup

Good Buy Gear: Denver-based startup selling used child gear

HarperDB: Denver-based database software startup

Hemp Foundry: Hemp extraction and processing startup

hobbyDB: Boulder-based online database for selling and buying hobby collectibles

Hygge Power: Boulder-based startup making a new kind of electrical outlet

mcSquares: Denver-based startup making dry erase tile whiteboards

Only Sky: Denver-based software startup for scheduling and booking in the outdoor industry

Proof: Boulder-based legal tech startup

Realvolve: Greenwood Village-based real estate tech startup

Recoup: Denver-based startup making fitness and sports recovery products

Rever Moto: Eagle-based motorcycle app

Sana Packaging: Denver-based cannabis packaging startup

Shinesty: Boulder-based online party apparel and accessory retailer

Shotzr: Ad tech and stock photo startup based in Denver

Upsuite: Denver-based coworking finder

Whistler: Boulder-based compliance and HR software

News Release: NREL Industry Growth Forum Announces 2019 Presenting Start-Ups


February 25, 2019. More than 500 cleantech investors, entrepreneurs, and industry representatives are expected to attend this year’s Industry Growth Forum, May 9-10, in Denver, Colo. Among them will be 30 of the nation’s most promising start-up companies that will be presenting their cleantech innovations to potential investors and industry experts. Click HERE for full article

Distributed Energy Poised for ‘Explosive Growth’ on the US Grid

More than 100 U.S. utilities have set up at least a “basic DER marketplace,” he said — some kind of online portal allowing customers to shop for energy-efficient appliances and services, and connecting them with utility rebates and third-party offers.
— Ben Kellison, Grid Edge Director at GTM Research

6 Renewable Energy Trends To Watch In 2019

2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. An increasing number of countries, companies and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving.
— James Ellsmoor

TOU Rates in California: What will we learn?Will TOU rates be the “killer app” that drives residential distributed energy resource (DER) adoption?

Home energy storage (HES) will be more attractive and If home energy storage vendors such as Hygge Power, Orison, Sonnen, Tesla and others can bring storage to market at a positive business case for consumers, HES would be the easiest and most customer friendly way to enable customers to maintain or even reduce their energy bills.
— Energy Central

Energia Ventures Launches Accelerator With Innovators From Across North America

Energia Ventures Launches Accelerator With Innovators From Across North America

FREDERICTON – Energia Ventures, a three-month accelerator for businesses in the energy, cleantech, and smart-grid sectors, launched its new program Tuesday with six companies from across North America. The program combines industry mentorship with classroom style programming. The goal is to take the companies through every aspect of launching a startup and graduate them ready for further investment.