Four new innovative clean energy start-ups are the first to benefit from a new working relationship between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and clean energy business accelerator EnergyLab, with additional support from the Queensland government.
EnergyLab has announced the opening of its first Brisbane base, offering accommodation, financial and mentoring support to the start-up companies.
The new office is co-located with the CEFC, as part of its goal to accelerate investment in Australian clean energy innovators.
The Queensland government is providing an additional $400,000 in operational funding, as part of its Advance Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
EnergyLab has co-working spaces for clean energy start-ups in each of Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, where it provides the innovative companies with mentoring and other support to help them turn their business ideas into commercial reality.
For its new Brisbane base, EnergyLab selected the four start-ups after a rigorous assessment process. Each start-up will receive 6-24 months support, including rent-free office space, $50,000 in seed capital, and mentoring and networking opportunities to help them build a business platform for their ongoing development.
The Queensland businesses are:
- Cirlution – which has developed a scheme to capture the maximum value from food waste and convert it into clean energy and heat
- Charge Cube – which has created an affordable small modular solar battery system, suitable for developing countries
- Fluxpower – which is developing an electricity payments network to reward demand response in real time, working with electricity generators, retailers and end users
- Sunshine Cycles – which delivers solar-powered rechargeable electric bikes from self-serve pods, reducing vehicle emissions.
CEFC Innovation Fund Executive Director Ben Gust said EnergyLab’s expansion to Brisbane was a welcome boost to the clean energy innovation sector in Queensland.
“Accelerators such as EnergyLab play a critical role in helping start-ups accelerate their pathway frominnovation to commercialisation,” Mr Gust said.
“Australia-wide we are seeing increasing diversity in the clean energy innovation space. These four companies are part of an exciting trend that promises to extend the benefits of clean energy across the economy, creating new business opportunities for Australian innovators and investors.
“We are delighted to work alongside EnergyLab in this exciting Queensland expansion, and to welcome the four start-ups to the CEFC’s Brisbane office.”
EnergyLab Co-founder and Programs Director James Tilbury said the accelerator program looked for strong business ideas which had the ability to contribute to the transformation of Australia’s energymarket and potentially world markets.
“Our expansion to Queensland has been made possible by the State’s high calibre of entrepreneursand the generous support from a wide range of stakeholders, such as the CEFC and the Queensland Government,” Mr Tilbury said.
“The State and city governments have done an excellent job of fostering a vibrant start-up ecosystem and we’re thrilled to be able to build on that work by providing deep, sector-specific expertise for entrepreneurs working on clean energy solutions.”
The seed capital that EnergyLab provides to start-ups is financed through the Clean Energy Seed Fund, which was established in 2017 by specialist fund manager Artesian. The CEFC, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is a $10 million cornerstone investor in the $26 million Clean Energy Seed Fund.
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund draws on the combined skills and experience of the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and invests using CEFC finance.
The $200 million Innovation Fund supports the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses whichare critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation.
The Innovation Fund has made nineinvestments, committing up to $55 million across a range of innovative technologies, from electric vehicles to enhanced battery storage and behind-the-meter demand management.