Hawaii-based Energy Excelerator, a fund for cleantech startups, has reportedly received a $30m funding boost from the Navy’s Office of Naval Research under the Asian Pacific Technology Education Program.
The latest commitment triples the funding that Energy Excelerator has operated on in the three years since it was founded according to TechCrunch.
The seed funding came from the Department of Energy, said Dawn Lippert, Energy Excelerators’ senior manager.
Energy Excelerator works with seed and growth-stage companies to build energy solutions in Hawaii.
So far seventeen startups have graduated from the fund with products spanning hardware and software – including electric bicycles, a solar-powered DC electric vehicle charger, and a system to grow algae for biofuel.
Energy costs four times as much in Hawaii as it does in the continental US, creating a strong environment for startups to compete within. Additionally, the government is looking to become less oil dependent.
Lippert said, “The Department of Defense saw the model and liked it and decided to back it [through the Navy].
“The DoD really sees the value of Hawaii as a place to roll out early innovation companies, and they’re hungry for technology that solves energy problems, specifically in Hawaii and Asia Pacific.
“We actually have been working with the DoD as a strategic customer. All of the different bases provide a good place to demonstrate the technology, so they’ve decided to get on board.”
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