Quickly separated – 20 companies in 140 minutes
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 Clean Energy Venture Summit at UT’s AT&T Center. I was unable to sit in on Wednesday’s panels, but made it to Thursday’s sessions including the piece de resistance – presentations by the 20 companies chosen by the Austin Technology Incubator’ s selection committee to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges and perhaps earn a coveted spot on the Pecan Street Project‘s list of technologies to be included in the project’s testing plans.
Having not had the opportunity to read the formal proposals submitted by each of these companies, my background information for each was limited to what I could find on their company websites. The remainder of my opinions were formed in the quick 7 minutes that each company was allotted to present their idea, which was followed by a few minutes of questions from the panel of judges.
Each of the 20 companies undoubtedly had a good idea for their niche in the energy technology market – though I must admit that my mind began to wander and lose focus on the quality of these ideas at times as a majority of presenters were unable to comfortably finish their pitch within their 7-minute window. Some of the technologies were geared toward more industrial and commercial uses (dispatchable load models, optimization schemes, conversion of waste heat to usable electricity) while others could be used in residential applications (green building products, cheaper solar panel materials and designs, electric vehicles). The companies came from throughout the United States (with a notable concentration of folks from New York and New Jersey) and Canada.
In the 140 minutes (give or take with questions), the 20 companies were quickly separated into those that I believe could have an effective place at the table in a project like the PSP and those I cannot envision (at this point) as being ready for practical applications and real-world testing. I will be blogging about some of the companies that still stick out in my mind over the next few days.
Congratulations and thanks to Melissa Rabeaux for another wonderfully orchestrated ATI event.