Global search for world’s best energy start-ups launched


AusNet Services has joined forces with seven leading international energy companies to search for start-ups to participate in the second annual round of Free Electrons, a global energy start-up accelerator program.

As with the 2017 program, 12 start-ups will be selected to work closely with mentors, local accelerators, and utilities to jump-start their business.

Apart from an unrivalled opportunity to see their ideas realised, the global winner will win US$200,000 – one of the largest prizes of its kind in the world.

In 2018, the top dozen start-ups will be invited to participate in workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Silicon Valley and Berlin, providing exposure to some of the world’s leading minds in innovation, energy and clean-tech.

“AusNet Services takes its role of providing reliable, affordable electricity seriously,” executive general manager, commercial energy services, Chad Hymas said.

“Nurturing technology and concepts which help build and empower our new energy future is a critical focus for our business.”

Among the nine key areas of interest are innovative ideas in clean energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, energy management, energy access, E-mobility, customer solutions, business models, innovation, and the Internet of Things and digitisation.

Last year’s program resulted in a number of the participating start-ups receiving trial agreements or participation in negotiations for further investment.

AusNet Services is pursuing opportunities with three promising groups:

  • Driivz – an operator of electric vehicle charging networks;
  • Aperio – who offer systems providing defence against cyber threats; and
  • DataGlen – a provider of next generation, high-performance solar monitoring systems.

Applications for the 2018 Free Electrons program close February 28.