Startup

Hygge Power at NREL’s 2019 Industry Growth Forum

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Hygge Power presented at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)’s Industry Growth Forum (IGF)— and we couldn’t be more humbled by the recognition. 

 IGF is the premier event for cleantech entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts to build relationships, showcase innovative technologies and explore disruptive business solutions. For companies like Hygge Power, IGF is a great event, not only because it’s heavy on the energy side, but also because it provides up-and-coming enterprises the unique opportunity to spend one-on-one time with industry heavyweights who can help take our business to the next level.  

 At IGF, attendees get access to some of the world’s biggest cleantech investors and industry experts. With the unmatched opportunity to build relationships and connect capital with the attending innovators, IGF aims to create significant impact on the world of energy. And as you’re making the right connections, the trusted NREL “stamp of approval” is a significant benefit as well. The impact of the relationship-building that has occurred at IGF since 2003 is staggering — companies that have presented at the IGF have gone on to raise a collective $6.3 billion in follow-on funding.

 Designed to connect the cleantech community, IGF brings innovative research, entrepreneurship and investor money together in one place. Beyond organized networking opportunities and one-on-one meetings, this year’s event, which took place this week in Denver, featured compelling panel conversations and presentations from 30 emerging clean energy companies. And, for the first time at IGF, Hygge Power will be onstage as a presenter! 

 Proactive Engagement

But we weren’t simply invited just because. It required proactive engagement, solid relationship-building prowess and applying the expert advice we received from IGF last year to get to the point we are at today — and it will take more of the same to deliver on our goal of Better Energy. Better Lives.  

 Similar to speed-dating, the One-on-One Networking Session provided investors a venue to quickly host numerous 1:1 meetings, forge new connections with cleantech entrepreneurs and hear some pitches before moving on. Because time is limited in these rapid-fire discussions, it’s crucially important to proactively reach out to investors and strategic partners ahead of time.

 Fortunately, NREL provides the tools to do so. There’s a portal set up allowing companies to immediately engage with investors and other important people to ensure the alignment is right ahead of the meeting. This allows companies and the individuals they are meeting with to get on the same page and immediately establish goals so that time isn’t wasted during the brief one-on-one session. NREL provides the tools to effectively engage with the experts, investors, accelerators, incubators and other cleantech industry leaders who matter most to cleantech innovation. 

 Expert Advice

One of the most significant takeaways from attending last year was the amount of expert advice companies receive at IGF. From manufacturing and working capital to the risks and mitigations seen by experts in the energy space, attendees receive unsurpassed expert advice and get a "big picture" overview of the emerging industry and the issues affecting technological innovation, capitalization and commercialization.

 While some advice is just noise that needs to be filtered out, the expert feedback received at IGF can be incredibly accurate and useful, better aligning companies to provide additional value moving forward. Experts, startups, technologists and thought leaders with experience navigating the clean energy industry provide feedback as a pro bono service, and they allow attendees to be better prepared for the next stage of growth after learning about best practices and successful strategies.

 Next-Level Presentation

We’ve heard that every year at IGF, the quality of the presenters goes up. As such, we were honored and excited to present our company and technology to an audience of hundreds of potential investors at this year’s event. Every time a company presents at an industry event, it typically invites questions from industry-related individuals, scientists and investors, and we believe that provided us an opportunity to show the investors we’ve already connected with what our story is from a more general perspective.

 It’s exciting to be talking about products and services that we can execute into the marketplace to provide value to customers. Our presentation answered specific questions about the company, our technology, financials and end-customers, before we opened the floor for a question-and-answer session focused on accelerating how Hygge Power will be able to provide value.  

 At Hygge Power, we have a track record of doing something once and then going back and doing it better the next time. Since last year’s IGF, we’ve in many ways repositioned ourselves to better define how we’re communicating our story to the people who matter most. The Forum was an excellent opportunity to collaborate and explore partnerships with the cleantech community and being selected to present is a significant milestone. It’s wonderful to have the support of NRELand leading partners and their expertise.


Hygge Power is Returning to Free Electrons!

We are pleased to announce that Hygge Power has been invited to Free Electrons, arguably one of the most prestigious and selective energy startup programs in the world. Each year, Free Electrons offers startups the chance to collaborate with 10 global energy giants. Free Electrons seeks the most promising later-stage energy startups and is committed to supporting energy entrepreneurs and startups in transforming the energy market by co-creating the next generation of ideas in energy, energy efficiency, e-mobility, digitization, data-driven business models and on-demand customer services.

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About the Free Electrons Program

The 2019 Cohort begins this week as a one-week bootcamp in Dublin, Ireland, followed by successive modules in Ohio, Hong Kong and Lisbon, Portugal. During the bootcamp, the top 30 companies are invited to showcase their respective solutions and teams. After, selected startups participate in three modules of roughly a week each, competing for the coveted “Free Electrons World’s Best Energy Startup” recognition, with a prize of $200,000.

Value of Free Electrons Program

For Hygge Power, the program offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to share our OPO smart plug and home energy storage device with clean-tech investors and leaders across a global network of potential customers. On top of that, Free Electrons helps us quickly “level up” with curated support and access to a network of utility giants, which is crucial. Utilities, in general, have barriers and a lot of red tape to deal with, and we have seen firsthand how the Free Electrons program can help remove those obstacles.

With Free Electrons, energy startups are afforded the luxury of legitimate face-to-face time with 10 utilities during workshop sessions in order to determine whether a pilot aligns to their objectives, what the success criteria are, and what additional resources are needed from the utility. From there, the program kicks off pilot programs for immediate testing, allowing for true innovation.

Beyond in-depth meetings with leaders of global energy giants and opportunities for strategic investments from utilities, startups chosen for Free Electrons receive unparalleled exposure to Australian, Asian, European and U.S. markets through three separate week-long ‘customer adoption’ modules. Each startup benefits from spending one-on-one time bouncing ideas off mentors and other mentorship support, and the program is structured to facilitate ongoing conversations between startups and utilities to seed pilot projects, investments and other commercial relationships.

What We Learned From Our Participation Last Year

Our interactions with utilities like American Electric Power (AEP), AusNet Services and Electricity Supply Board (ESB) all contributed to shaping the last 12 months at Hygge Power. Whether or not a company that makes it through every module, the mentor conversations the program facilitates can be invaluable if the company demonstrates the capacity to learn.

For example, AEP offered great feedback on improving customer satisfaction. Focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to customers, AEP is aiming to become more of an energy partner with customers rather than being an energy provider, and because of that conversation, we were able to determine the value we can leverage customer-centric utilities like AEP to create highly satisfactory experiences for utility customers. We also spent a great deal of time with AusNet and ESB, major energy players in Australia and Ireland, respectively, discussing load shedding and the grid edge tipping point, alternatives to upgrading substations. These discussions brought us back to the drawing board, which helped shape our enhanced commitment to shifting critical plug loads without negatively impacting a customer’s energy uptime and therefore experience.

We look forward to this week’s opportunities to collaborate with these select utilities to receive further feedback, develop near-term “proto-pilots” and use case scenarios for our OPO products.

Stay Tuned!