Week Three at Accel VT – Graduation or Just the Beginning?

March 7th, 2018

Introspective Systems is participating in the Accel VT business accelerator program. CEO Kay Aikin is writing about her experiences; see the post about the first sprint here and the second sprint here.

The third sprint at Accel VT was the culmination of a lot of work and a great experience for Introspective Systems. This sprint included a deeper dive into each of the eight company’s financial models, demonstration of our technologies, and preparation for each of us to pursue venture funding. All of the companies are at differing stages of their development and it was interesting to watch how each of them progressed during the three weeks.  

The final day was the selection by the cohort of the two companies that would receive $25,000 cash prizes. While Introspective Systems did not finish in the top two, please check out the two winners, Emrgy https://emrgy.com/ who finished first and https://www.afmensah.com/ who finished second. I was honored to be included in the Accel-VT cohort and just to be in the same room as these two fine companies.

Emrgy (CEO, Emily Morris) is based in Atlanta and is producing a revolutionary new water turbine that makes creating electricity for owners of municipal water canal systems easy. A. F. Mensah (co-founder, Drew Adams) is based in New Jersey and is developing solar/battery systems that make it easier for utilities to integrate solar into their grids.

During this sprint, we also got the chance to see Dynapower, a local pioneer in the renewable energy industry. Dynapower, in business since 1963, has been at the forefront of power electronics for the industry.

I want to take this chance to thank the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in sponsoring this accelerator and all of the hard work by Ellen Kahler, the director, and Geoff Roberson, the business assistance director. Burlington is a wonderful city and I was grateful to get a chance to taste a bit of what Burlington and Vermont has to offer.

Accel-VT is managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a nonprofit organization working to improve sustainable economic development in Vermont. Partners include Burlington Electric Department and the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies. Accel-VT launched at the Catalysts of the Climate Economy National Innovation Summit held in Burlington in September 2017, which focused on the challenges presented by climate change as opportunities for economic growth for climate solution businesses in Vermont.

For Introspective Systems, this opportunity reinforced the direction of our business and we forged multiple business connections with other cohort members as well as local Vermont utilities. In the coming months, we hope to be able to announce new partnerships. One has already started with our recently announced project on Isle au Haut where we are working with Dynamic Organics. Learn more about Isle au Haut project here.

While xGraph has applications in many industries, energy is very exciting. We are working with partners on two microgrid installations to embed transactive energy controls. As I mentioned in the post about the first sprint, real-time pricing is the holy grail for energy utilities. Right now, consumers are billed an aggregate price that doesn’t help utilities smooth out peaks and valleys in demand. Once utilities have the leverage of real-time pricing, they can solve both sides of the equation – managing their own power forecasting and purchasing AND lowering costs for the consumer. This is truly a big-data problem – and it’s one that we’re eager to solve.

Let us know if you have a transactive energy problem you’d like to solve – we are always looking for partners that can help us learn more about your unique challenges, and what a real solution looks like for you.