ESNA Conference and Exhibition | November 5-7, 2019 in San Diego, California

Registration will open July 15th

Startup Alley: ESNA 2019 is All About Innovation

​ Startup Alley, located on the expo floor, will feature some of the most cutting-edge startups in the industry. Then on Thursday, November 7th, ESNA will host the annual “Startup Speed Networking Event” with the showcased startups. If you are an angel investor, venture capitalist, or a strategic corporate investor interested in joining this intimate networking event, please email Zoheb Mohammed –

2018 STARTUP SPEED NETWorKING Testimonial:

The Speed Networking session at ESNA was easily the most valuable aspect of the conference.  It was incredibly well organized, connected me with great investors that have led to solid follow-ups, and was run very efficiently.  I would highly recommend it for any startup that wants to meet investors!
-James Larson, CEO of e-Zn Inc

2018 Startup Innovators

Energy Vault

Incubator: Idealab

Energy Vault has developed an Energy Storage System at a breakthrough cost that will finally enable base load and dispatchable renewable energy to be competitive with traditional fossil fuel systems. The system consists of a collection of extremely inexpensive bricks, a support crane, electric motors/generators, sensors and control software. By raising and lowering weights through an elevation gain, and by building a self-supporting tower, energy can be stored and released at high efficiency, with zero long-term energy leakage. Because of the high roundtrip efficiency, the costs are dominated by the cost of the storage medium (on the energy side) and by the crane, electric motors/generators and inverter (on the power side). For Energy Vault’s design, two phenomena were exploited to minimize this capex – the extremely high strength/cost ratio of tensile steel in the form of wire rope, and the extremely low cost/weight ratio of concrete, soil, and debris. The simplicity and absence of hazardous, toxic or high-temperature materials means there are very few limitations on where the system can be sited. The technology has been demonstrated at Pilot Scale and Energy Vault have signed LOIs with well regarded renewable developers to build two Commercial Demonstration Units in 2019.

Extensible Energy

Incubator: Powerhouse

Extensible Energy is making the demand side (building loads) flexible, a necessity on our changing grid and to achieve high renewable energy targets. Utility demand charges typically make up 30% to 50% of a commercial building's monthly utility bill and amounts to $50B/year in the US. There are 5.6 million commercial buildings in theUS today and fewer than 2% are managed intelligently. Solar power may save money on energy but does little to address the utility-imposed demand charges. Extensible Energy's Solar Load Balancing Software cost effectively reduces demand spikes and electricity costs without compromising comfort or requiring behavioral changes. Our cloud-based software employs predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and advanced control algorithms to flex the loads of a building. We are going to market by partnering with solar and battery installers. Solar installers can provide a comprehensive solution to both energy and demand charges by offering a combined solution. Battery installers will be able to offer a combined solution with other sources of load flexibility, enabling the battery providers to offer a higher value proposition and a "right sized" battery. ExE has won an SBIR Phase I and II, completed a first pilot, has LOIs with solar integrators, and is actively seeking additional buildings and investments.


Incubator: MaRS Discovery District

As the global energy grid moves to higher penetration levels of renewable energy, there will be an exponential increase in demand for low-cost and flexible, long-duration energy storage. This is the market targeted by e-Zn, the first in the world to “metalize”electricity. The company’s zinc-based energy storage system is up to 80 per cent less expensive than comparable lithium-ion systems for long-duration applications. Importantly, its energy storage system can cycle without degradation in capacity (ie. usable capacity does not change over time). It can also operate in temperatures ranging from -30°C to60°C, is fire resistant, made of fully recyclable materials, does not rely on precious metals, and has fast response time (<1s). e-Zn is currently targeting the off-grid market, with a focus on mining operations, telecommunications, military bases, data centres, remote communities, island nations and EV charging stations. However, as centralized grids move to fully renewable systems, there is a tremendous opportunity to utilize e-Zn's technology-using zinc as an energy carrier-as the platform to enable the renewable future.

KeraCel Inc

KeraCel is bringing to market a next generation Lithium-ion solid-state battery design and manufacturing method that will allow production of cells with ceramic-based electrolytes and lithium metal anodes to achieve energy densities 2-3 times greater, improved safety, and at a cost of less than 50%, when compared to Lithium Ion cells today. The manufacturing process will allow virtually any shape or size of cell to be built for a
multitude of applications without changing equipment or tooling under software control. Proof of concept cells are functioning in the lab. Expect to start small scale production for consumer application cells in early 2020.

Terrafuse AI

Terrafuse.AI develops an AI-based data fusion and physical emulation platform for assessing environmental and climate-related risk on the built and energy infrastructure. The technology is based on the team’s academic research on scientific machine learning and deep learning for remote sensing data processing for applications to climate modeling and infrastructure monitoring. Our target customers are (re-)insurance companies, financial institutions, real estate investors, S&P 500 companies, and renewable energy owner-operators that need fast, accurate forecasts of how changing patterns in weather, climate, and other environmental factors affect their resilience and economic and financial performance.


Incubator: SJF Ventures, NYC ACRE

Voltaiq is the industry leader in advanced battery analytics solutions for the grid storage, electric vehicle, and consumer electronics market segments. Fortune 500 companies, major universities, and leading-edge battery companies trust Voltaiq to provide a comprehensive and transparent view of all their battery data across the product lifecycle. The company's real-time analytics software solutions provide actionable insights that measurably reduce product development time, create more robust products, and mitigate product risk.

South8 Technologies

Incubator: Own Facilities

South 8 Technologies, Inc. has developed a breakthrough new Liquefied Gas Electrolyte
chemistry for electrochemical energy storage devices including lithium batteries and
electrochemical capacitors. Our patented technology allows for a substantial increase energy,
improved safety, and an exceptionally wide operating temperature to record low temperatures.
Leveraging conventional materials and manufacturing, South 8 Technologies offers a unique
solution for a variety of transportation, grid storage, and aerospace applications.
Our technology is now at TRL 3 with 3rd party testing scheduled over the next 3 months.

Astrolabe Analytics, Inc.

Incubator: N/A

An early-stage startup, Astrolabe Analytics offers software solutions that accelerate battery testing and analysis. Our mission is to empower battery engineering teams with superior data management and analysis capabilities. Smarter tools help teams become 20% more productive, and our product helps bring battery tech to market 15% faster.

SPIN Storage Systems

SPIN is an energy storage company. Our first product is a high-speed, low-cost, carbon fiber flywheel, spinning on a non-contact magnetic suspension inside a vacuum chamber. Over the past seven years we have invested 5 million dollars to complete five development generations and are now starting the design and fabrication of full-sized production units.


Leap - One interface to global energy markets

Today’s outdated electric grid can’t handle the rapid increase in variable and unpredictable generation from renewables. Consumers have become producers with their own solar panels and batteries, introducing even more complexity into a system that was designed for predictable, one way flow of electricity. At the same time, the increased adoption of connected electrical devices - EVs and chargers, smart thermostats, storage, and more - provide an opportunity to provide the same grid balancing services as existing power plants, but cheaper, quicker and with zero emissions. To date, grid operators have been unable to incorporate these millions of smart devices, effectively shutting them out of the market. Leap solves these issues by providing a marketplace for grid services that allows every connected device to help balance the grid, regardless of capacity, availability and location, with one simple integration. Leap is based in San Francisco and backed by well known energy investors.