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NREL Powers Up GameChanger, Announces First Cohort of Start-Ups

December 13, 2018

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The Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN) has announced its first round of start-up innovators — four companies focused on developing long-term energy storage and advancing the grid of the future.

Partnering early-stage companies with experts from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Shell's incubator program, Shell GameChanger, GCxN provides promising clean-tech start-ups with access to financial resources, state-of-the-art facilities, and world-class technical experts. The assistance is designed to help start-ups de-risk technology development while accelerating their paths to market.

"NREL is pleased to partner with Shell GameChanger and to offer our technical expertise to this important effort," said NREL Director Martin Keller. "This first round of portfolio companies will help advance both energy storage and smart grid controls."

Each participating startup will receive as much as $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to aid in development and demonstration of its technology, with the opportunity for future follow-on funding and beta-testing with a strategic program partner, in addition to access to expertise and laboratory capabilities at both NREL and Shell.

Companies selected for this round are:

  • Antora Energy (Fremont, Calif.): designed and building large batteries for the electricity grid at low costs, integrating solar panel use with unique insulation techniques.

  • e-Zn (Toronto, Ontario): designed and producing a zinc-based energy storage system that is less than 50 percent of the cost of pumped hydro for long-duration applications.

  • Electrical Grid Monitoring Ltd. (Rosh Haayin, Israel): developed a system to integrate sensors, secure real-time communications and perform big data self-learning analytics to convert a legacy "static" grid into an integrated digital, dynamic and adaptive self-reporting system.

  • Feasible, Inc. (Emeryville, Calif.): developed a technology platform that uses soundwaves and data analytics to deliver critical insights about batteries across the value chain.

Each of the companies selected was referred by a member of a channel partners network (cleantech incubators, accelerators, and universities), with finalists selected after rigorous review by technology experts at NREL and Shell.

"We're very excited to begin work with this first round of GCxN companies," said NREL's GCxN Program Manager Adam Duran. "It is our goal to fill this program with game-changing ideas, and our first cohort of startup companies demonstrates real potential to enable the grid of the future through their unique technologies."

For more information on GameChanger, visit GCxNREL.com.

Learn more about NREL's work with cleantech innovation.