The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is looking to give Australian renewable energy startups a push towards commercialisation. EnergyLab’s scale up program will provide late-stage energy startups with introductions to decision-makers at Australia’s most innovative energy utilities, mentorship from Australia’s most successful energy-sector founders and advice from Australia’s most active energy-sector investors. EnergyLab will receive more than $1 million in ARENA funding and industry partners, which will in part be used to launch EnergyLab’s scaleup program aimed at supporting late-stage clean energy startups as they scale and unlock their next wave of growth.
James Tilbury, CEO of EnergyLab said that “the scaleup program is the result of three years hard work building expertise on how to scale energy innovation in Australia. The work we’ve done means we are uniquely placed to support energy start-ups bring their ideas to market, attract investment to grow, and bring the world much-needed clean energy solutions.”
“EnergyLab, through mentoring and supporting startups, will help us to see an increase in expertise, skills and capacity in the renewable energy technology sector and identify pathways to commercialisation to keep Australia at the forefront of renewable energy innovation.”
EnergyLab is one of Australia’s largest cleantech startup accelerator and network dedicated to clean energy transition. Its mission is to support new business and technological initiatives that move the world toward 100% clean energy solutions. Apart from the new scaleup program, EnergyLab’s core programs include:
● Pre-Acceleration – helping entrepreneurs with an idea test its commercial viability.
● Acceleration – flagship program helping the most promising energy startups launch a product into the market, secure first customers and raise a seed funding round.
● Women in Clean Energy Fellowship – equipping women interested in energy entrepreneurship with the skills, knowledge and support they need to start a company.
To date, EnergyLab has supported over 80 Australian energy startups through its programs. Some of the most successful startups have raised significant capital and have seen rapid market expansions such as Amber Electric and Powerpal.
The energy retailer Amber Electric allows customers to reduce their energy costs via access to wholesale electricity prices and recently closed a funding round of $2.5 million.
Under the new Victorian Energy Upgrades scheme, Powerpal enables Victorians to see their energy data usage in real time for free. Installations of Powerpal technologies are in full swing with around 150 installations per day,
Women in Clean Energy Fellowship
A promising part of the EnergyLab program is a fellowship that aims to inspire, educate and support more women to establish energy startups. The program, piloted successfully in 2019, has now seen its second intake starting in 2020. The program aims to create a defined pathway for women entrepreneurs to start clean energy startups by giving them the skills and knowledge they need to embark on a career in entrepreneurship.
Milly Young, EnergyLab Programs Manager stated that “our first program was incredibly successful. The workshops gave the ladies a comprehensive overview of the practical steps they need to take to start their entrepreneurial journey and the mentor nights have been critical to introduce them to role models they can identify with. We are glad to say that four participants have partnered in teams of two to create their own startup”.