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2020 Innovation Showcase

An exciting Innovation Showcase featuring more than 30 diverse Bay Area startups. Each company exemplifies the breakthrough technologies and products that are emerging from the local innovation ecosystem. Attendees can browse the Showcase to network with the exhibitors during the course of the day.

Here is a list of confirmed showcase exhibitors:

Compact high-voltage power converters that enable new applications

Airity Technologies, Inc. develops and sells advanced power conversion technologies, including the world’s smallest high-voltage power supplies. Our circuit topologies provide more efficient and compact high-voltage DC and radio frequency sources. These have been applied to semiconductor manufacturing, aerospace, lighting, medicine, and research applications where high performance, low cost, and extremely small size and weight are important and enable new technologies. Airity also develops nanosecond-scale high voltage pulse generators for low-temperature atmospheric plasmas. Airity leverages proprietary IP and leading research in power electronics from Stanford University. The company is based in Redwood City, CA, and is expanding through a combination of product sales and close collaborations with leading clients.

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Inexpensive energy storage for a cleaner grid

Antora Energy is developing an extremely low-cost thermal battery by combining high-temperature, solid state thermal storage with thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion. Energy is stored as high-grade sensible heat with high density in earth-abundant materials, giving all-in energy costs below $6/kWhe. Unlike molten thermal storage systems, which are plagued by freezing, tank corrosion, and costly pumping infrastructure, an all-solid system does not require moving any high-temperature material. Instead, the key challenge is efficiently extracting heat from the storage medium. We address this by inserting a lightweight and modular TPV heat engine directly into the storage volume, enabling all-in power costs under $370/kWe. These low capital costs yield a levelized cost of storage of below $0.05/kWh. We are focusing exclusively on technologies & materials that have demonstrated scale-up potential. If successful, our system will enhance grid resiliency, provide low-cost capacity, support transmission and distribution infrastructure, and enable a greater share of low-cost, intermittent wind and solar power in the future generation mix.

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Aurora is a cloud-based solar design and sales solution.

Aurora is the solar industry’s leading PV system design and sales platform—a cloud-based solar solution used by thousands of solar professionals worldwide. With Aurora, solar salespeople and designers can precisely determine how many solar panels will fit on a property, forecast how much energy they will produce, estimate how much money the system will save the property owner, and generate sales proposals without ever having to visit the property itself.

To date, Aurora has been used to design over 2.6 million solar projects globally, with over 100,000 projects completed monthly.

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Power management platform for the cold chain

Axiom Exergy is an industrial Internet-of-Things (IoT) company focused on transforming the world’s cooling systems into intelligent, cloud-connected energy storage assets. Its Refrigeration Battery® technology enables historically-inflexible commercial and industrial refrigeration systems to operate flexibly and intelligently for the first time. With deep expertise in supermarket energy management, thermal energy systems engineering, cloud software development, and data analytics, Axiom Exergy provides its customers with turnkey power management solutions that reduce operational costs and business risk. Axiom Exergy also offers fully-financed “Storage-as-a-Service” so that supermarkets and commercial buildings with high refrigeration-based energy loads can save more than they pay from day one.

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Buzz Solutions provides AI, actionable insights and predictive analytics for powerline inspections.

Buzz Solutions safeguards world's energy infrastructure by providing actionable insights and predictive analytics for grid and asset inspections. Our software platform is powered by AI and Machine Vision for fault detection on assets, critical infrastructure and vegetation management as well as insights and analytics for where and when those faults are happening. Using our solutions, utilities save 50% costs on manual data management and analysis as well as 6-8 months of manual data processing during which a powerline can go down, a power outage can happen, or a wildfire can start. We are currently working with major utilities in California, Midwest and East Coast and scaling up our operations to other major utilities across the US and Canada to help them manage and process infield inspection data around their infrastructure thus preventing power outages and wildfires.

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Materials Data in Action

Citrine Informatics is the world-leading platform for materials and chemicals development. Our technology reduces the time it takes to develop new materials and chemicals by 50-70% by combining the power of materials data and AI. Our customers include some of the biggest and most respected names in the materials and chemicals industry in Asia, North America, and Europe. We are also very fortunate to be supported by leading investors including Tencent Holdings, B&C Holdings, Innovation Endeavors, DCVC (Data Collective), Prelude Ventures, AME Cloud, and XSeed Capital. Our headquarters is in Redwood City, CA.

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Cleaner, more powerful engines for heavy-duty applications

ClearFlame Engines is using over $1M in non-dilutive funding, in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory, to commercialize a patented technology that the founders initially invented at Stanford University. The ClearFlame approach enables low-carbon alternative fuels to be utilized in a high-efficiency and low emission engine configuration, enabling a 40% reduction in CO₂ and a 10x reduction in NOx (smog) while simultaneously providing 30% more power. This technology easily integrates into existing engine designs, and has the ability to displace Diesel-fueled technologies by providing a cleaner and lower cost solution that also maintains efficiency and improves power density, simplifying adoption for users. The technology will disrupt the $125B Diesel engine market by decoupling the performance and simplicity benefits of the Diesel engine design from the dirty emissions and petroleum dependence of Diesel fuel, instead replacing it with renewable alternatives. ClearFlame is currently seeking investors to support the development of an aftermarket retrofit MVP for their technology, while also cultivating OEM partnerships to support this effort, first for co-development, and eventually for licensing or joint venture.

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Ultra-lightweight and safe lithium metal batteries

Cuberg is a startup developing a next-generation battery technology based on a non-flammable electrolyte formulation and a lithium metal anode. These cells deliver a step-change improvement in energy density and safety compared to the best lithium-ion batteries in the world today. The technology is a true drop-in solution that can be manufactured and scaled using existing lithium-ion production equipment. It has already been scaled up and demonstrated successfully in a variety of commercial-format prototypes and is currently being evaluated by marquee customers in the defense, aerospace, and oil and gas industries. This technology will power the portable electronics of the future and bring about mass-market electrification of cars, air taxis, and passenger airliners. Cuberg has secured over $4M in funding from private investments and grants, including: Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and CalSEED. The company spun out of the materials science department at Stanford in 2016 and was initially supported by the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford. Cuberg graduated from the prestigious Cyclotron Road entrepreneurial fellowship program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2018.

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Zero-emission mobility. Zero risk.

eiQ Mobility is a start up backed by Schneider Electric Venture and aims to simplify and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by fleets. eIQ Mobility has an opportunity to fix the fleet EV ‘planning-procurement-deployment-operation-optimization’ cycle. We are developing a powerful awareness, decision & planning engine, that harvests data from across fleets, locations, utilities & more, and solve the pain that customers voiced in over 150 interviews. We also build a knowledge base across multiple customers, vehicle categories & regions and grow our capabilities exponentially with time to deliver electric mobility as a service solution to our fleet customers. Our plan is to completely de-risking their migration from diesel to electric and provide zero-emissions mobility with zero risk.

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Ultrasound and Data Analytics for Better Batteries

The equivalent of ~1 in 6 battery cells are scrapped in production (~$4B of waste based on 2019 volumes). A major reason is that standard inspection methods have become less effective as batteries have grown in size and complexity to meet the demands of EVs and renewable energy storage. As cost is a major barrier for batteries, there is a critical need for breakthrough inspection technologies. Feasible Inc. is developing EchoStat, a platform that uses ultrasound and data analytics to offer an unprecedented depth of insight about battery health. While EchoStat has the potential to create significant impact across the value chain, currently, our focus is on creating solutions for better process- and cell-level inspection during battery production. Our goal is to help customers improve yield, detect errors quickly, decrease warranty costs, and improve reliability. Feasible Inc. is based in Emeryville, CA and has benefited from funding and support from Chrysalix Ventures, Incite Labs, Cyclotron Road, Elemental Excelerator, GCxN, ARPA-e, and NSF.

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HighTide predicts future climate risk for US real estate.

HighTide is an early-stage climate tech startup, founded by three Stanford Geophysics and Environmental Engineering graduates, that predicts future flood risk and uncertainty for properties across the US using probabilistic modeling and AI. Funded by an innovation transfer grant from the TomKat Center and a strategic partnership from Microsoft AI for Earth, our vision is to create a better future by driving resilience to the worst effects of climate change among governments, investors, insurers, lenders, and individuals.

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Mainspring’s Linear Generator delivers affordable, dispatchable, and low-carbon distributed power.

Driven by its mission to advance global access to low-carbon, dispatchable energy, Mainspring has developed a new category of power generation — the linear generator — that delivers onsite, 24/7, fuel-flexible power at a lower cost than the electric grid. Mainspring linear generators unlock the full potential of distributed power, using natural gas or biogas to deliver electricity to commercial and industrial buildings, campuses, smart cities and the utility grid. Mainspring will begin customer installations in 2020, targeting the $750B global electricity equipment market. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Mainspring is backed by top-tier venture and strategic investors such as Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, American Electric Power, and Centrica Innovations. www.mainspringenergy.com

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Advanced Materials For Lightweighting the Transportation Segment

Mallinda lowers the barriers to adoption of carbon fiber composite parts by improving the economics and reducing the environmental impact of composite part production. Mallinda’s technology enables 1-minute thermoset composite part production cycle times, or less, to met the high volume demands of the automotive segment. In addition, Mallinda’s thermoset materials are circularly recyclable back to precursor molecules in solution for a closed loop, energy-neutral system for the recovery of resin and woven/full-length fiber from end-of-life composite products.

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We use methane gas to manufacture biodegradable materials

Mango Materials manufactures biodegradable materials from waste methane. The Company’s end product is a naturally occurring biopolymer that can biodegrade in many different environments. Collaborations with leading brands have led to the formulation of biopolymers for numerous applications including textile fibers as a polyester replacement and injection molded packaging for the cosmetics industry. Overall, the company is focused on applications where new end-of-life properties are desirable. Mango Materials is currently scaling up its process and operates at a wastewater treatment plant in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Save Energy. Get Paid.

OhmConnect pays households to reduce their energy use when the electric grid is stressed and power must come from expensive and polluting sources of generation. The service is straightforward for our users - get paid for saving energy. However, on the backend, OhmConnect is connecting to the energy markets and selling aggregated reductions of electricity (i.e., negawatts) as “virtual” power. Now at hundreds of thousands of users, OhmConnect is actively displacing up to four power plants with each #OhmHour, OhmConnect’s hour-long energy-saving events. OhmConnect’s objective is to empower individuals to take charge of their energy use, enabling users to participate in wholesale demand response. We meet these goals through our state-of-the-art software platform, which coordinates energy-saving (i.e., demand response) events with residential utility customers. Each #OhmHour, users can respond by making behavioral changes, like turning off lights, as well as taking automated actions by connecting their smart devices (including WiFi thermostats, smart plugs, etc.) to the OhmConnect platform. OhmConnect is rich with gamified features, and it is constantly evolving with the requirements of the customers. Placing the customer first, OhmConnect strives to enrich the customer experience in an ongoing fashion.

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Opus 12 converts CO₂ emissions into higher-valued products

Opus 12 has developed a device that recycles CO₂ into cost-competitive chemicals and fuels. Our technology bolts onto any source of CO₂ emissions, and with only water and electricity as inputs, transforms that CO₂ into some of the world's most critical chemical products: a $300 billion global opportunity. Opus 12's platform technology could be the foundation of the next generation of the petrochemical industry: forming products from recycled emissions and renewable electrons instead of from fossil fuels. It could offset 1.5 billion tons of CO₂ emissions annually. In the immediate future, Opus 12 has identified a billion-dollar beachhead application where we can solve a critical customer pain point for 10X lower cost and higher safety than existing solutions. Founded at Stanford in 2015, Opus 12 is currently scaling up its technology with a US manufacturing partner. Opus 12 is the recipient of a Shell GameChanger grant, various SBIR grants from NASA, DOE, ARPA-e, and NSF, and is the winner of the DOE's Transformational Idea Award.

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Parking sucks. OXO facilitates sharing to let people move freely.

OXO – it’s like Tesla and Airbnb had a lovechild. Parking wastes resources -- time, real estate, cars themselves. Also, it sucks. OXO is fixing this. We’re an international team of Stanford-educated engineers, data scientists and an MBA. We help commuters save time and money by connecting them with car-less Uber and Lyft drivers. And we’re just getting started. OXO’s matching model emulates autonomous vehicle patterns. We will use these glimpses into the future to ensure that self-driving cars make people’s lives not just easier, but better. Talk to us about: - autonomous vehicles - future of mobility - sharing economy

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Mission-critical wireless power

Resonant Link powers mission-critical applications, wirelessly. Our breakthrough wireless chargers, developed during our PhDs at Dartmouth and Stanford, are 5x more efficient, 5x smaller, and 10x lower cost than possible with conventional technology. We can recharge batteries in previously-impossible locations (like implanted medical devices), decrease charge time for smartphones, and have the first high-performance and cost-effective wireless chargers for electric vehicles. We are supported by grants from the NSF STTR program, the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford, and Dartmouth's Magnuson Center.

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Safi builds software that drives smart, clean growth for factories worldwide.

Safi Analytics builds software to drive smart, clean growth for factories worldwide, starting in emerging markets. Safi’s real-time system helps factories dramatically improve production efficiency. It is easy to launch + easy to use from a smartphone or computer anywhere, and works across all factories and machine types. Since launching in mid-2018, Safi Analytics has already become the leading provider of smart factory software in their first market, Kenya, and is launching in Mexico in 2020.

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SMS is a vertically integrated microgrid solutions provider.

Scale Microgrid Solutions was founded in 2016 by three former ENER-G Rudox, Inc executives following the acquisition of their global parent company by Centrica, PLC. SMS specializes in designing, financing, constructing, commissioning, and operating turnkey microgrids that integrate and optimize multiple distributed energy resources. SMS’s leadership team has 40+ years of experience in building and operating distributed energy projects, including pioneering the microgrid-as-a-service model for the large commercial and industrial sector. SMS has offices in California, Colorado, New York, and New Jersey and is rapidly expanding the California team, headquartered in Los Angeles, to meet the state demand for DERs and microgrids.

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SHYFT Power Solutions builds IoT and integrated software to intelligently manage distributed energy resources.

SHYFT Power Solutions builds industrial-grade IoT and integrated software to connect and intelligently manage distributed energy resources (DERs) in markets that struggle with resiliency. SHYFT is pioneering the development of integrated decentralized power systems in emerging markets like Nigeria, leapfrogging over traditional central infrastructure and enabling DERs to scale and support existing but unreliable grids.

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We save millions of dollars in AC and refrigeration costs all while helping save the environment.

SkyCool Systems developed a passive rooftop cooling panel, enabled by a patented optical film that cools when outside exposed to the sky. Over their lifetime, our panels save millions of dollars worth of electricity and water when integrated with air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

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Susteon focuses exclusively on technologies for climate change remediation.

Susteon is a climate change technologies investment firm with internal engineering development resources. With a total of more than 100 years of combined  experience in the energy sector, this team brings strong relationships with the US Department of Energy and leading industry commercial partners. Susteon leverages US government grants to fund real-world energy transition solutions with inventors while providing an investment grade return profile for private equity. Susteon's team is comprised of scientists and engineers with extensive experience in research, scale-up, and  ommercialization. Areas of expertise include CO2 capture and utilization, hydrogen production, methane conversion, gasification, waste-to-energy conversion, and techno-economic analysis.

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Artificial energy intelligence for mission-critical buildings

Verdigris is an artificial intelligence that optimizes building operation and energy consumption. Our core technology combines magnetic sensors with machine-learning techniques. Our unique ability enables us to "learn" and distinguish various equipment and appliances. As a result, our platform is massively scalable, beneficial and easy-to-adopt.

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EV-grid integration via machine learning enabled smart charging

As electric vehicle adoption accelerates, associated charging loads are expected to generate significant problems for local electric system operation and planning. Weave Grid integrates data from multiple sources to provide distribution system awareness and coordination. Weave Grid brings together utility, automotive and driver data to remotely optimize and control electric vehicle charging, thus addressing grid integration challenges from EV adoption and enabling a faster transition to electric transportation. By utilizing machine learning to predict consumer driving patterns and create “virtual fleets”, we aggregate the EVs into a powerful and flexible grid asset that can jointly optimize across system and user needs. This enables Weave Grid to reduce the need for costly grid upgrades, integrate renewable energy better through flexible demand management, and save EV owners money on their energy bills. Our EV and charger agnostic software delivers a simple, robust, and elegant solution to multiple EV-related challenges faced by electric utilities while delivering the maximum value from vehicle aggregation.

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More certain weather forecasts powered by smart weather balloons

WindBorne Systems provides better weather forecasts based on a unique dataset. Traditionally, weather balloons are only launched over the land, leaving large “data deserts” over the oceans and around the world. When weather in these data deserts blows onshore, it causes uncertainty, so to solve the problem of uncertain forecasts, WindBorne invented a way to collect the data everyone else is missing. WindBorne developed a new kind of smart weather balloon, able to steer, fly an order of magnitude longer, and target the regions of highest value. With more certain weather forecasts in hand, you can better predict wind power outputs, solar power generation, and temperature-driven power demand. With WindBorne, you can make the right decisions.

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Smart aerodynamics for long haul trucking

We are changing the way people think about trucking. Our first product the TruckWings™ is the industry first active-aero product for trucks. At highway speeds, panels fold out to close the tractor trailer gap saving fuel and giving a smoother ride for drivers. The TruckWings are in production and installed in several 5,000+ truck fleets with over a million road miles of tests. As for what’s next, the TruckWings™ are powered by our proprietary CarbonConnect™ platform. Think of this as a IoT platform for trucks or a “Nest for Trucking”.

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