One of my favorite parts of last year’s Green:Net event was the launchpad section, where 10 companies that are using information technology in various ways to fight climate change launch themselves out of stealth mode or unveil interesting new products. So I’m very excited to announce this year’s 10 winners of the Green:Net 2010 launchpad. In addition to our list of speakers, which includes California Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, and investor Vinod Khosla, we can’t wait for the lineup on April 29. Drum roll please. . .
1). People Power: Wireless energy management startup People Power just released its software developer’s kit called SuRF (Sensor Ultra Radio Frequency) which is based on the open source platform OSHAN (Open Source Home Area Network). When open source meets home energy management, the potential is massive. The company plans to reveal new details about its strategy, plans and products.
2). Vecarius: Vecarius is using power electronics, energy harvesting, energy storage and advanced materials to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles. As co-founder William Sanchez explained to us recently, at the end of the day vehicle energy efficiency can be boosted through chips, software and computing. Vecarius says its patent-pending technology can “recapture a large portion of the 75 percent of energy lost in internal combustion engine and hybrid vehicles.”
3). ecoATM: Cash for high-tech trash. That’s the basic concept for the recycling kiosk — or “Automated eCycling Stations” from startup ecoATM. You drop off old electronics at one of these machines, it calculates their value, then pays you on the spot, in cash or coupons.
4). Building Solutions: Building Solutions has developed software called “Home Performance Pro,” which is an easy-to-use, detailed and accurate home testing software, “built by energy auditors for energy auditors.” The stimulus package has allocated billions of dollars for “weatherization,” which is basically making buildings more energy efficient through things like upgrading insulation, heating and cooling systems, air filters and windows. The first step to knowing if a home needs these things is an audit.
5). GE: O.K. so conglomerate General Electric isn’t exactly a startup, but the company plans to announce an innovative new product for energy efficient backup power. We’ll hold the details for the launchpad event.
6). energics: If you thought the Smart Grid just arrived, get ready for Smart Grid 3.0 says the team at energics. The company has developed software that can develop patterns to dynamically drive process models, build context and relevance, and progressively “learn” and automate smart grid systems. If there’s something the smart grid sorely needs it’s automation deep within the network of the grid (see New Opportunities in the Smart Grid, on GigaOM Pro, subscription required).
7). ecoVouch: ecoVouch is a free web-based application for the iPhone that helps users find eco-friendly products and services close by. The folks behind ecoVouch plan to launch their platform that enables sustainable businesses to communicate effectively to participants through display ads, vouchers or a loyalty program, in a new and social way.
8). Soneter: “Know your flow.” That’s the motto behind Soneter’s meter technology that modifies water consumption behavior in the multifamily housing sector. The company’s product, which doesn’t require a retrofit or pipe cutting, tracks individual unit water use in real time and automatically bills them based on consumption.
9). Carbon Voyage: Carbon Voyage’s web site enables users to compare travel options based on both cost and environmental impact. The service will find opportunities to fill empty journeys (taxis), share trips and help customers move onto low carbon transport alternatives. Right now the London-based team is focused on the U.K., but has plans to expand into other markets.
10). ecoDomus: ecoDomus’ software and services provide intelligent analysis of a building’s performance, including helping with LEED compliance, and leading to better maintenance practices that result in significant energy savings. ecoDomus’ product integrates a Building Information Model, a 3D representation of a facility, and real-time facility operations data acquired via sensors.