Portugal-based startup among the 15 Free Electrons finalists
The worldwide program founded by EDP kicked off with an unprecedented bootcamp in an exclusively virtual environment with over 150 people from 30 countries, involving 10 utilities and 35 startups.
The 15 startups that will participate in the 2020 edition of Free Electrons - the worldwide program that connects the most promising startups to energy sector giants - have already been announced. One of the finalists is Tesselo, a Portugal-based startup that uses smart satellite images to tackle environmental challenges.
The company was established in 2017 and operates from Lisbon, where it has its technical team - which includes environmental engineers, agronomists, and industry experts. By combining satellite images with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Tesselo provides real-time information on agriculture, forest and infrastructure, thus helping companies prevent forest fires or electricity grid damage and providing them with urban planning support.
The list of selected startups was released after the bootcamp - which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was a virtual event - in which 35 startups had the chance to pitch their projects before the 10 utilities involved in the Free Electrons program.
This stage of the program brought together more than 150 people from 30 countries, who over the last week connected with each other through more than 250 teleconference meetings spanning 13 time zones, as well as Whatsapp groups, quizzes, stretching and martial arts classes, and even online happy hours.
Holding a bootcamp in this unprecedented format required the creation of a virtual platform that could simulate a real physical environment, with startups and utilities having their own space.
“Given the pandemic raging across the world, it was not possible to hold the bootcamp in Singapore as planned, but that did not prevent us from finding an apt solution for everyone by creating an environment of proximity and networking - even if at a distance. This digital format brought about some advantages, including the possibility of involving more people, either from the startups or from the utilities, such as EDP, which had 35 people from the innovation department allocated to the bootcamp,” says EDP Inovação Director Carla Pimenta.
“After breaking the record for applications, this meeting allowed us to confirm the quality of the startups we have brought together. There are new businesses emerging, new approaches to customer relations, and sustainable solutions for the future of the energy sector. We have selected startups whose projects were more geared to what we are looking for, which does not mean that we will not invest in other projects that have not reached the final stage," says Carla Pimenta.
As a founder of the program, EDP has already developed 18 pilot projects and invested about €20 million in six startups over three years; about half of that amount was allocated to the purchase of products and services.
List of the15 selected startups
Allume Energy | Australia
AMPLY Power, Inc. | United States
Chargetrip | Netherlands
Disruptive Technologies | Norway
energyX Solutions, Inc. | Canada
FlexiDAO | Spain
fos4X | Germany
FutureGrid | Australia
Gridio.io | Estonia
Net2Grid | Netherlands
Ripple Energy | United Kingdom
Soraytec AS | Norway
Tesselo | Portugal
Vutiliti | United States
Vyntelligence | United Kindgom
The 2020 edition of Free Electrons will be divided into three global modules: the first, in Sydney, Australia, in June; the second, in São Paulo, Brazil, in September; and the third and final module will take place in Singapore, in October, where the big winner will be known receiving a prize of 200 thousand dollars.
Companies participating in Free Electrons
The founding members of Free Electrons are Ausnet Services (Australia), DEWA (Dubai), EDP (Portugal), ESB (Ireland, Innogy (Germany), Origin Energy (Australia), SP Group (Singapore) and Tokyo Electric Power Company ( Japan).
In 2018, American Electric Power (USA) and CLP (Hong Kong) joined the program. Free Electrons is supported by the Portuguese Beta-i.
Check the Free Electrons website for more information.