The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the five winners of the first round of its SunShot Catalyst prize competition.
The winners, which were selected out of 17 finalist start-ups, receive $30,000 each to help advance their early-stage programs toward commercialization finalists had an opportunity to present their entries before judges at a public Demo Day event in San Francisco on May 14.
At Demo Day, the SunShot Initiative also announced it is now accepting ‘problem statements’ for the second round of the Catalyst prize competition, which outline challenges to the solar energy market.
The SunShot Catalyst prize program is designed to address the challenges to ubiquitous, affordable solar energy deployment by connecting American innovators to the tools, capabilities, data assets, and resources developed by the DOE and its national laboratories. The competition leverages each of these assets to launch cutting-edge solar companies and tackle time-sensitive market challenges.
The five winners are as follows:
- Gridmates – a peer-to-peer energy-sharing program to combat energy poverty;
- PVComplete – solar project design software for solar salespeople that is compatible with systems used by solar energy system engineers, roofers and contractors;
- Savenia Solar Ratings – a system for quantifying the value of solar energy systems for homeowners and installers;
- Solar Site Design – a cloud-based platform for selling qualified solar energy development projects to solar equipment manufacturers, suppliers, engineering firms and finance companies; and
- UtilityAPI – a system for automating utility data acquisition for solar companies so they can accurately size solar energy systems for customers based on their previous electricity usage.
In addition to the $30,000 received, SunShot Catalyst prize winners are eligible to receive up to $70,000 each in future funding after successfully meeting product milestones agreed upon with the DOE and the panel of judges. The winners hope to introduce their products to the marketplace in the coming months.
More information about the winners and finalists can be found here.