Startups to participate in the Chicago-based program are developing technologies across sectors such as renewable energy, energy storage, carbon capture, and hydrogen.
CHICAGO – (June 9, 2022) mHUB, one of the nation’s leading independent HardTech and manufacturing innovation centers, has selected eight ClimateTech and EnergyTech startups for investment through its Product Impact Fund I and to participate in its 6-month, hands-on accelerator. Teams will move from around the world to participate in the program and access mHUB’s state-of-the-art facilities for prototyping and product development.
Supported by Nicor Gas and Invenergy, the program’s industry partners helped evaluate and select the eight participating startups. They will provide mentorship and access to the teams over the course of the program and have the opportunity to make initial investments after month three. Community partner Evergreen Climate Innovations will provide additional programming and industry access, and Perkins Coie will provide legal programming, resources, and office hours.
The selected cohort features high-potential early-stage ventures focused on commercializing disruptive solutions in renewable energy, hydrogen, carbon capture, energy storage, and energy management.
“The current climate crisis is dramatically changing the energy generation landscape as well as consumption behavior worldwide. Consumers, companies, governments, and investors are looking for new and optimized technologies that reduce, avoid, or capture carbon emissions,” said Thierry Van Landegem, Executive Director, mHUB Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator. “By bringing together these early-stage startups with the necessary hardtech expertise, funding, and collaboration with leading corporations in the field, we’re able to ensure the acceleration of their impact globally.”
In alphabetical order, cohort teams include:
- blip energy (Evanston, IL) defining a new category of smart home batteries by leveraging second-life batteries to create an affordable, accessible, portable power station that works in any home
- Hago Energetics (Los Angeles, CA) generating green hydrogen from waste materials
- Icarus RT (San Diego, CA) a hybrid cogeneration plus storage system that cools PV panels to improve performance and stores heat to provide hot water
- infiniRel (Santa Cruz, CA) developing preventive diagnostics to improve output, efficiency and reliability of power electronics for renewable energy
- Kazadi Enterprises (Batavia, IL) reducing the cost and carbon footprint of commercial refrigeration by leveraging the vast energy resources in environmental heat
- nexTC (Corvallis, OR) developing thin film coatings for solar cells to improve efficiency and lower cost
- OXTO Energy (Guildford, UK) designing and manufacturing the next generation of safe, high-power and low-cost flywheel batteries
- Sandbox Carbon (Chicago, IL) producing high quality carbon offsets by direct air capture of carbon dioxide
The Climate and EnergyTech cohort is the third cohort of mHUB’s accelerator program launched in 2020. The program was founded to address the specific barriers of bringing a HardTech solution to market; mainly, the ability to rapidly prototype and scale and connect with investors who realize the upside of disruptive hardware solutions.
“Evergreen Climate Innovations is excited to partner with mHUB to support this Climate and EnergyTech accelerator cohort,” said Erik Birkerts, Chief Executive Officer at Evergreen Climate Innovations. “Entrepreneurs developing physical products are vital to addressing our environmental challenges and deserve exceptional resources and support. We all stand to benefit greatly as their solutions scale and deliver impact.”
The mHUB accelerator provides access to capital through a $15M Product Impact Fund, nearly closed, with follow-on investment opportunities from the program’s corporate partners as well as access to over $6M of capital-intensive prototyping equipment and business resources. It matches seasoned mentors to each startup, focuses on business and leadership training, and offers access to a broad manufacturing ecosystem. Being situated in Chicago, one of the nation’s largest manufacturing regions, mHUB has built a supplier network of over 500+ U.S. manufacturers and growing.
“Coming from a hardware background, I understand how many moving pieces come together to bring a new product to the market,” said Sophia Wennstedt, CEO, blip energy. “mHUB’s expertise, connections, and clout are invaluable to startups navigating a hardware launch, especially in an ongoing and unprecedented supply-chain crunch.”
The hyper-resourced accelerator program began on June 6 in Chicago.
mHUB will launch additional sector-specific accelerators approximately every six months with the next cohort focused on MedTech set to open applications in the fall. For more information visit www.mhubaccelerator.com.
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mHUB is a leading independent hardtech and manufacturing innovation center that exists to convene the entrepreneurial ecosystem around physical product innovation to ensure that the manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow and thrive. The mHUB community includes over 428 active and alumni startups and small businesses supported by a deep talent pool of product designers and developers, entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturers, corporate leaders, industry experts, mentors and investors. mHUB provides a hyper-resourced environment to entrepreneurs with the goal of commercializing new hardtech innovation that will lead to new businesses, intellectual property, investment, revenue and job creation. Since launching in 2017, the mHUB community has generated more than $721M in revenue, launched more than 1,398 products, hired more than 3,987 employees, and raised over $1B in capital. For more information go to www.mhubchicago.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
We are innovators building a sustainable world. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate large-scale sustainable energy generation and storage facilities in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Invenergy’s home office is located in Chicago, and it has regional development offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Poland and Scotland. Invenergy has successfully developed more than 30,000 megawatts of projects that are in operation, construction or contracted, including wind, solar, transmission and natural gas power generation facilities as well as advanced energy storage projects. For more information, please visit www.invenergy.com.
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit nicorgas.com.
About Evergreen Climate Innovations
Evergreen Climate Innovations, formerly Clean Energy Trust, provides catalytic capital and support to entrepreneurs and startups that bring impactful climate technologies to market. The nonprofit pioneered its 501vc® Investment Fund to align philanthropic and corporate contributions to deliver environmental, economic, and social impact. Evergreen advances and expands access to innovation across the Greater Midwest and cultivates an ecosystem of investors, donors, and collaborators. For over a decade, Evergreen Climate Innovations has invested in startups that have raised $45 for every $1 invested. Learn more at evergreeninno.org