BeOn Energy was the big winner of the Free Electrons program - the World Startups Acceleration Program promoted by EDP and seven other Utilities, which began in January and ended yesterday in Singapore. The Portuguese startup received a check for $175,000 (approx. €150,000) to invest in their business.
The closing session included a pitch competition where companies presented their business models and products before an audience of about 200 financial and strategic investors, as well as representatives of the program's eight utilities. In this case the big winner was Aperio, an Israeli startup with an innovative cybersecurity solution for energy assets. Aperio, which had already won the best pitch award in the European module, has recently closed an investment round with EDP Ventures.
Out of the 451 startups from 51 countries which applied, 12 innovative companies working in the energy area were selected to participate in the Free Electrons acceleration modules.
These 12 startups attended three week-long acceleration modules, which were held in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, Lisbon/Dublin, and finally in Singapore.
BeOn Energy, the winning Portuguese startup, has developed a range of DIY solar systems, including a microinverter. Microinverters are used to transform direct current into alternating current in order to inject energy produced by solar panels into the grid. BeOn Energy has been part of the EDP Starter incubation program since it won the EDP Open Innovation competition in 2014. The company supplies microinverters to integrate solar energy into the grid, and it is also the startup within the EDP Innovation ecosystem that sells more products to the group.
About Free Electrons
In January, EDP joined seven other utilities from countries such as Australia, Singapore, Japan, Ireland and the UAE to establish the consortium that launched the global startup acceleration program. Free Electrons seeks to recruit energy startups that will propel the next generation of ideas for clean energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility, digitalization, and customer services on demand.
The Free Electrons program was launched by eight international utilities: AusNet Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), ESB (Electricity Supply Board), EDP (Energias de Portugal), Innogy, Origin Energy, Singapore Power (SP) and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
Thanks to the EDP Innovation program, EDP has been supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy industry since 2007, namely through EDP Ventures (corporate venture capital fund), EDP Starter (business incubation program) and several pilot and technology showcasing projects.
Free Electrons now takes EDP's innovation activities to major innovation hubs on a global scale.