SURGE Accelerator, a member of the exclusive TechStars Network, was able to find 10 entrepreneurial companies, move them into a location called Red House and get them motivated to solve big problems in the energy vertical and leverage their knowledge of current technology in cloud computing and big data.
Houston, Texas, the energy capital of the world, and home to more than 5,000 energy related firms, is where SURGE was born. Over the last 90 days, SURGE companies have focused on solving the world’s energy problems by using software to disrupt the energy business.
Alas, these energy startups were ready to present their companies this week to a dynamic crowd assembled at the House of Blues in downtown Houston. And the Space Cowboys from the Rackspace Startup Program were there to witness SURGE Demo Day.
“Some of these companies will change the energy technology landscape as we know it. We’re not sure which ones, but many of them are destined to be game changers,” said Blair Garrou of DFJ Mercury and a SURGE co-founder in his opening remarks. Kirk Coburn, co-founder of SURGE, followed with “radically disruptive ideas are why we launched SURGE. Entrepreneurs are the innovators and energy is our greatest challenge and our biggest opportunity.”
Here are the companies that were born out of the inaugural class at SURGE Accelerator in Houston, Texas:
ActualSun: Business information for the solar industry
Established: Houston, Texas/Portugal
A web-based, intelligent software platform where owners of multiple solar power plants can independently manage, compare and market their entire portfolio of assets, allowing for reduced operating costs, increased asset performance and improved decision making.
Advanced Seismic: The App Store for geophysical technology and cloud computing
Established: Houston, Texas
Connects people to geophysical technology, data and the cloud through its APP marketplace and OASIS Desktop platform. Customers can search, sample and evaluate technologies and only pay for the output results. Scientists can build Apps and get paid every time a company uses the technology.
drillMap: Google Maps for energy intelligence
Established: Austin, Texas
Offers online access to multiple datasets specific to the petroleum industry using a revolutionary visualization and report building application. drillMap allows customers to visualize all data, no matter the source, in seconds rather days; on any device; anywhere.
FuelMiner: Makes trucks intelligent
Established: Minneapolis, Minnesota
A turnkey hardware and cloud-based software solution for real-time optimization of vehicle fleets. Using FuelMiner, fleets can save up to $15,000 per truck per year in fuel costs and double their profits.
Lowfoot: Mint.com for your electricity bill
Established: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Providing a free web-based analytics platform that allows consumers and small businesses to be rewarded for conserving energy through monitoring of smart meter data on a social media platform.
Molecule: Quickbooks for energy trading
Established: Houston, Texas
An easy-to-use, cloud-based trading system that includes deal capture, risk analytics and more. Molecule helps users, producers and marketers of energy commodities understand and manage their risk without the pain and expense of implementing a traditional ETRM system.
Pinnacle: RedHat for the SmartGrid
Established: The Woodlands, Texas/Boston, Massachusetts
This system allows utilities to maximize their investments in the SmartGrid. Pinnacle integrates back office applications with the new communications networks, data sources, business transactions and capabilities of new generation of SmartGrid devices without costly upgrades or customization.
Revokom: An opinionated communication platform for asset intensive industries
Established: Denver, Colorado/Chile
Puts the asset at the center of the discussion. Users don´t talk about the asset, they talk to the asset. Developed for asset intensive industries such as oil and gas and mining, Revokom allows relevant team members and service providers to share asset activity information in near real-time in a secure fashion.
Snugg Home: Salesforce.com meets Lending Tree for energy efficiency contractors
Established: Boulder, Colorado
Providing intuitive, easy to use SaaS tools that allow residential contractors to offer homeowners energy efficiency upgrades. Homeowners can enjoy increased comfort and 20 percent to 75 percent energy savings.
Tune Energy: Concierge service for retail electricity
Established: Palo Alto, California
Offers homeowners a subscription concierge service that bundles wholesale-priced electricity.
Congratulations to the SURGE inaugural class of 2012! These companies are now part of the prestigious TechStars family and ready to take on the energy vertical. And the Rackspace Startup Program was there to help the companies build their businesses on a world-class cloud computing platform. Drop the Space Cowboys a note and let us know if you need any help facilitating the dream of your startup from ideation to implementation!