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NREL's Industry Growth Forum Celebrates 25 Years

40 Companies Will Present in Virtual Format this Year

March 18, 2020

Two men smiling at a clean energy conference.
Flashback from the first IGF: Former NREL Director Charlie Gay (left) with Bill Davis of the Midwestern Research Institute.

Twenty-five years ago, when the clean-energy economy was still in its infancy, the frontiers that NREL explores now must have seemed like science fiction.

Optimization controls to maneuver vast fields of wind turbines. Computer programs that can predict the grid impact of hundreds of devices years in advance. Plastic-eating microbes.

But it all had to start with an idea—and a willing audience.

Twenty-five years ago, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) introduced a new concept: an event to connect emerging clean-energy technologies with funders who would take a risk on these new, crucially important technologies.

They called it the Industry Growth Forum (IGF). As the nation's only federal laboratory dedicated to renewable energy and energy efficiency research, who better than NREL to host?

Virtual IGF 2020: April 29–30 Online

People networking at the 2019 NREL Industry Growth Forum
In light of growing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), this year's IGF, managed by NREL's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, will be held April 29–30 online. The new format will still deliver the pitch competition and one-on-one networking meetings—the heart of the IGFover the course of two days.

"We are strongly committed to our mission of connecting cutting-edge startups with the motivated investor community," said IEC Director Richard Adams. "Now more than ever, these connections are critical to drive innovation to market for impact and we are dedicated to working with our IGF attendees to make that a reality."

Even though IGF 2020 is now virtual, its commitment to network building remains unchanged from its beginnings 25 years ago.

"Growth is all about relationships and building a network that expands with time," said Charlie Gay, the former NREL director who started the IGF. "It takes time to establish trust, and the Growth Forum was launched to help build relationships between researchers inspired to develop products based on their work and the investment community."

Presenting Companies: The Best of the Best

The clean-energy field has grown. This year, the IGF received more than 150 applications from cleantech entrepreneurs hoping to present their technologies to potential investors.

The 2020 cohort, comprising 40 of the most promising cleantech startups, was announced in February. It includes companies in four categories: early stage, commercialization stage, growth stage, and emerging markets. The 40 presenting companies are:

Early Stage

Addionics – Tel Aviv, Israel

AeroShield – Cambridge, MA

Dimensional Energy – Ithaca, NY

Microgrid Labs Inc. – Boulder, CO

Mycocycle LLC – Bolingbrook, IL

NETenergy – Chicago, IL

Pyran LLC – Madison, WI

ReSource Chemical Corp. – Palo Alto, CA

Sironix Renewables – Seattle, WA

TexPower – Austin, TX

Wexus Technologies – San Francisco, CA

Commercialization Stage

Biome Renewables Inc. – Toronto, ON

Boston Metal – Wolburn, MA

Feasible Inc. – Emeryville, CA

Feedback Solutions Inc. – Burlington, CA

iGlass Technology Inc. – Tustin, CA

Longpath Technologies – Boulder, CO

PassiveLogic – Salt Lake City, UT

Polyceed Inc. – Tucson, AZ

RayGen Resources Pty Ltd. – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Switched Source – Vestal, NY

Growth Stage

Congruitive – Redwood City, CA

Cove.tool – Atlanta, GA

Enertiv – New York, NY

Kando – Tsur Yigal, Israel

LaderaTech – Englewood, CO

Locus Agricultural Solutions (Locus AG) – Solon, OH

Nanoramic Laboratories – Boston, MA

Rensource Energy – Lagos, Nigeria

STRATIS IoT – Philadelphia, PA

Emerging Markets

Aquacycl – San Diego, CA

Caban Systems – Burlingame, CA

Climate Connect Technologies – Delhi, India

Co2Concrete LLC – Los Angeles, CA

Epic CleanTec – San Francisco, CA

e-Zn – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kara Atmospheric Water, Inc. – New York, NY

Pacific Volt Inc. – Poulsbo, WA

Powerfield Energy – Falls Church, VA

SweetSense Inc. – Denver, CO

For more information and to register for the 2020 NREL Virtual Industry Growth Forum, visit https://www.nrelforum.com/.