Energy accelerator ready for spark of start-up genius

ESB continues support of Free Electrons programme
Image: Stockfresh

13 January 2021

Entries have opened for this year’s Free Electrons programme, the world’s first global utility accelerator that gives entrepreneurs access to a panel of energy companies with a direct market-channel to 70 million customers in 40 countries.

Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s programme will have a mix of physical and virtual offerings where start-ups will receive the support of technical experts from utilities, to refine their offerings and introduce their innovative products and services to new markets in Europe, USA, Middle East, Far East and Oceania.

The sponsor utilities – including ESB – are seeking to collaborate with start-ups that have developed low-carbon enabling technologies and related customer friendly services to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in all aspects of our lives.




Following the application process, 30 companies will be invited to the initial Bootcamp event in Dubai this May (may be hosted online in line with Covid-19 restrictions). Following this, 15 companies will be selected to participate in mini modules in Lisbon and Hong Kong with the final taking place in Dublin from 9-11 November 2021.

Last year, 857 start-ups from 86 countries applied for the programme while more than $50 million in commercial deals have been signed since it first commenced in 2017.

To date, seven Irish technology start-ups have participated in the bootcamps or programme modules including Xenotta from Co Carlow, Sedicii from Co Waterford and Grid Beyond from Co Dublin.

“Innovation is at the heart of all we do at ESB and is key to transitioning to a low-carbon future,” said Denis O’Leary, innovation manager at ESB. “The Free Electrons programme offers us the opportunity to work with the world’s best start-ups and, in turn, helps them refine and create customer and industry focused energy solutions.

“As a founding member of this initiative, ESB is proud to once again host a module event later this year where we can showcase the best of Irish innovation and industry. I encourage all energy start-ups to apply for this programme and we look forward to working with them on this exciting journey.”

The deadline for entry is 28 March 2021.

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