Free Electrons

Connecting startups with the world’s leading energy utilities

Startups will work alongside ten energy utilities from around the globe to deliver cutting edge solutions and co-create the future of energy. The program will focus on working together to pilot projects, commercially deploy products and facilitate investment opportunities. Deals to date exceed USD $10m+.

Startups are in the running for the prize of USD 200,000 – no strings attached.

Join us for the 4th edition, applications are open now!

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Our Offer

Why should startups join Free Electrons?

The program includes 4 one week long modules held across the globe, where startups work closely with The Utilities, local accelerators and mentors to refine their company’s solution and explore options to jump start their company’s growth.

Each module is structured to facilitate ongoing conversations between startups and utilities to refine value propositions, seed pilot projects and explore investment opportunities.

Free Electrons offers the chance for start-ups to:

  • Test Solutions

    Test their solution in the energy sector in partnership with utilities

  • Develop Pilots

    Develop a viable pilot side by side with the utilities

  • Receive Feedback

    Receive input, feedback and insight into their product/service and business

  • Gain Exposure

    Gain exposure to American, European and Asian markets

  • Build Relationships

    Building relationships within the startup community to share learnings and experiences

  • Grow Networks

    Grow their networks by immersing themselves in local and global ecosystems

  • Contract and Receive Investment

    Opportunity to sell their products to utilities and seek investment from utilities. Deals to date exceed $10m

  • Work with Open Innovation experts

    Work with open innovation partner Beta-i on strategy, approach and receive advice on pitching to corporates

  • Access Mentors & Experts

    Access a global pool of mentors and experts matched to their unique requirements

Why should startups apply?

Why apply to FE 2020

Hear from our startup alumni

If you want to grow your business, and get it out there to lots of customers across the globe, then go for it and submit an application.

Nicholas Woolley

ev.energy
It’s absolutely worth it, you learn a lot in just a very short amount of time.

Marcel Smit

Energyworx
Apply, right now. It’s amazing you won’t regret it!

Fredrich Rojahn

Solandeo
For us, the Free Electrons program is a really great opportunity to go international, it also serves as validation that what we do is really valuable, not only in our home markets but across the globe.

Benjamin Schaule

Adaptricity
Its quite important for our core strategy, to get in touch with The Utilities but it’s also quite important to meet with the other startups and companies to build our ecosystem.

Thorsten Heller

Greenbird Integration Technology
We think that Free Electrons is the best place for utility business development, having the opportunity to talk to 10 of the biggest utilities in the world – there is no other place that we can do that all at once so fast.

Tagg Jefferson

Gridcure
Talking to senior executives from the largest utilities around the world, developing close personal relationships and leveraging those to get real deals done.

Yoav Lurie

Simple Energy
We’ve connected into this amazing network of startup companies, we’ve also had the opportunity to meet some of the most innovative utilities in the world.

Sara Bell

Tempus Energy
We benefited mostly from the honesty and the candid answers that the utilities gave us.

Michael Shalyt

Aperio
We have made great friends and we have developed a proposition that is now really answering a need and we understand the challenges the utilities are facing.

Louise Rogerson

Howz
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Why the utilities want to work with startups

We envision a future where smart, clean and accessible energy will transform every aspect of our lives.

The Utilities are committed to supporting startups to transform the energy market with next-generation ideas. We are looking for startups that have already raised money, created a working prototype, and earned a few battle scars along the way. 

Free Electrons is looking for ideas in;

  • Mobility
  • Customer solutions
  • Smart grids and energy communities
  • Energy storage
  • Energy access
  • Energy management and efficiency
  • Clean energy
  • Customer and utility resiliency
  • Facility and asset management
  • Cooling solutions
  • Other – for more about what Free Electrons is looking for visit The Utilities page.

The Utilities share their perspectives on why Free Electrons works

Opening up the utility world to the startups, providing them with a global customer base, accelerating deal execution with the utilities, that’s what Free Electrons is all about. I can’t think of a better opportunity for a startup operating in this space.

Luis Manuel

Executive Board Member,
EDP Innovation
SP Group is committed to providing a high quality, sustainable lifestyle for customers. We are excited to partner respected international utilities and experienced accelerators, who have extensive innovation and R&D experience, to support promising start-ups around the world. Together we can develop transformational energy solutions to provide customers with more choices, and help them to save energy and cost.

May Liew

Head of Sustainability and Open Innovation,
SP Group
Dubai is at the centre of a region that is emerging as a major force in the global economy, and it is seen as a leader in promoting innovation, sustainability and economic diversity. Dubai is keen to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve a green economy. Public-private partnerships are key to this, as is the goal to make Dubai a global hub for green finance and a green economy

His Excellency Saeed Mohamed Al Tayer

MD & CEO,
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority
TEPCO is excited to work with all of the global utilities and startups participating in the Free Electrons program. We value the opportunity to learn from their innovative business models and technologies, and hope to leverage these learnings for the benefit of our customers.

Takafumi Anegawa

President of TEPCO Research Institute,
TEPCO
Origin sees the enormous potential of combining the best ideas with those companies capable of delivering them at significant scale. By leveraging all the expertise of the many partners involved we are confident extraordinary outcomes will be reached.

Anthony Lucas

Executive General Manager, Future Energy and Business Development,
Origin Energy
We are excited about the prospect of working with a pool of startups from across the world, learn from them and offer them the opportunity to trial and develop their products/services in Ireland and the UK. At ESB we are very focused on bringing new cutting edge solutions to our customer base.

Jerry O’Sullivan

ESB Deputy Chief Executive,
ESB (Electricity Supply Board)
Innovation is at the heart of the transition to a clean energy future. Energy affordability for our customers is a priority and will be driven by adopting more efficient business models, and by investing in innovation and digital technologies. We welcome the opportunity to work with energy entrepreneurs and our utility partners from around the globe, to realise our collective goals.

Mario Tieppo

Executive General Manager,
AusNet Services
It's a perfect match - smart startup ideas meet a transforming corporate that is re-inventing itself and has established lean and agile structures that speak “startup” and “corporate” language alike. We can help startups scale fast; startups can help us with the best possible products. We go outside to innovate from within.

Stefan Padberg

Managing Director,
Innogy New Ventures LLC
Joining the Free Electrons accelerator program gives us access to the world’s most innovative technology entrepreneurs in the energy space. Our long-term strategy includes building smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom products and services to our customers. We’re excited to help cultivate the cutting-edge energy solutions that are being developed around the globe.

Nicholas K. Akins

Chairman, President and CEO,
AEP
The Free Electrons Accelerator Program enables CLP to work with some of the world’s smartest and most dynamic innovators on solutions to 21st century, digital energy challenges. With our industry leadership across Asia Pacific markets spanning Greater China to Australia, CLP is excited by the opportunity to partner with the best start-ups to create transformative new energy technologies and applications for individuals, businesses, cities and governments.

Austin R. Bryan

Senior Director - Innovation,
CLP Holdings Limited
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