A star team of investors, entrepreneurs, experts and innovators launches DOE’s IMPEL + building technology accelerator for 2022

At a critical time for climate action, the strategic effort is helping building innovations reduce carbon emissions bridge the ‘valleys of death’ between invention and commercialization

BERKELEY, Calif., November 3, 2021 / PRNewswire / – World-class leaders from the investment, technology, public sector and business worlds put their expertise to work for the Department of Energy’s IMPEL + 2022 accelerator, with the mission of accelerate the commercialization of technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of buildings – an essential and urgent aspect of the fight against climate change.

“In the United States, buildings are responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions – more than any other sector,” said Dr. Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE. President Biden has set a goal of halving U.S. emissions by 2030 from a 2005 benchmark, and achieving that goal will require dramatic building energy efficiency improvements and deployment. rapid grid integration and clean energy technologies for buildings. IMPEL + is helping some of the most exciting and advanced construction technologies enter the market, where they can help reduce emissions. “

IMPEL +, which stands for Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial Mindset at the Labs and Beyond, is funded by DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) and implemented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

“Think of us as a startup incubator and accelerator for building energy technologies,” said Marie hubbard, responsible for technology commercialization within BTO’s Emerging Technologies Program. “For 2022, we are adding a panel of leading mentors, including private sector investors, public sector leaders, technical subject matter experts from across DOE’s national laboratory system, demonstration experts who will ensure fair access to testing for construction building technologies and contractors who have already brought construction technologies to the market.

“Americans already spend about 90% of their time indoors. As climate change continues to amplify severe weather events, that number will only increase,” said Reshma singh, a Harvard-Architect by training and director of the LBNL IMPEL + program. “IMPEL + is helping some of the brightest minds develop technologies that will reduce emissions from the buildings in which we live and work, while making them more innovative, climate resilient and healthier. “

New for IMPEL + in 2022:

  • An “Inverse Pitch” event. Those responsible for the national laboratory system will present the licensed intellectual property related to the energy use of buildings. Innovators will also hear what they are looking for from private investors, incubators and public sector grant programs.

  • Company seminars. These offer intensive expert coaching on the framework of the initial business plan and personalized strategies.

  • Mentors, including investors representing a range of potential fundings, from boutique and impact funds to financial giants like SoftBank; potential demonstration partners from major universities, state energy offices and federal entities, including the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense; and potential venture capital innovation partners, including national labs and large companies such as Carrier.

For the third year in a row, IMPEL + will provide innovators with world-class pitch coaching from practitioners, including serial entrepreneur JJ Singh, co-chair of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs; tech entrepreneur, scientist and marketing veteran Christina ellwood from Moreland Associates; and Whitney Hischier, lecturer at the Haas School of Business, College of Natural Resources and UC Berkeley School of Engineering in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. The coaches will lead workshops organized along three axes:

  • Decarbonize: For projects that radically reduce emissions for a zero carbon built environment

  • Democratize: For projects that offer equitable well-being in a resilient living environment

  • Digitization: For projects that connect buildings, distributed energy resources, people and organizations with smart analytics and critical energy information

IMPEL + provides access ramps to public and private pipelines providing financing and access that can lead to commercialization. To date, more than half of IMPEL + innovators are women or people of color, and applications come from across the country. Each year, IMPEL + innovators make connections that lead to grants, awards and invitations to participate in next-stage accelerators.

These are some of the revolutionary innovations of the 2021 cohort that IMPEL + helped launch towards commercialization:

  • Josh Cable Inventwood was part of a three-member team who received a $ 1.6 million allocation within the framework of the BTO FOA PROFIT this August. Inventwood also received $ 500,000 Agency for Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) to fabricate lightweight 3D wooden honeycomb structures that can be fabricated at one-fourteenth the cost and 10% CO2 emissions of their aluminum equivalents.

  • Tanya barham received a $ 206,000 DOE SBIR Phase I grant to develop an interface design based on machine learning and workflow automation that achieves significant energy savings in commercial buildings. Tanya and her team received additional funding as part of a BTO CRADA award to work with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the company to develop an affordable control solution for network responsiveness, greenhouse gas reduction and utility costs, and rapid market adoption.

  • Bilal Sher of New York University The EASEEbot team won $ 200,000 in phase 1 of the E-ROBOT prize of the American-Made Challenges. EASEEbot can fly around buildings and automatically generate a 3D model using advanced reconstruction as a non-invasive solution to locate and document moisture intrusion, thermal bridges and air leaks in buildings.

  • that of Natalia Mykhaylova WeavAir won a Hype Sports Innovation Award for its sensor technology, which helps fitness centers and stadiums improve air quality while saving energy and operating costs.

“IMPEL + has provided a great network. Now I have a team of advisors in both the public and private sectors, and I can ask them questions whenever I need to,” said innovator IMPEL + 2021. Anna dai by Varea Énergie. His company is developing software that helps commercial and industrial facilities save energy and water and reduce waste.

IMPEL + invites entrepreneurs, building technology professionals, small business owners, national laboratory researchers, university faculty members and graduate students, as well as other innovators, to apply. Projects can include hardware, software, services, systems and solutions, programs and policies, and are generally in the early stages of development.

Eligibility information and a link to the IMPEL + application are available on impel.lbl.gov. The priority time is November 15. The application window will be open until all available innovator positions are filled.


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