Nine innovative startups bring the future of energy to Birmingham

Nine innovative startups bring the future of energy to Birmingham
Members of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator's Class of 2021 and Techstars staff members have been working together for 13 weeks to refine and build momentum for the startup companies' innovative business plans. (contributed)

For the past 13 weeks, startups from across North America have descended on Birmingham and have been working diligently to develop their companies, with a focus on innovative solutions for utilities and the energy industry.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, nine entrepreneurs participating in the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator will present their groundbreaking ideas at Demo Day in Birmingham. The event is open to the public; registration is required.

Founders in this second class of the accelerator traveled from seven states and Canada to participate in the program. The companies specialize in technologies and business models to enhance the future of energy, including artificial intelligence (AI) for the power grid, renewable energy, consumer sustainability and weather prediction.

The Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator is the only Techstars accelerator in the world focused on energy. Through its corporate accelerators, Techstars develops partnerships with corporations to add industry expertise through mentorships, business development opportunities and access to resources. Alabama Power is Techstars’ first electric utility partner.

The EnergyTech Accelerator has been one of the most successful in the history of Techstars, having raised more than $30 million in capital for the first class in 2019. Out of the first class, four companies are now raising seed-series B funding, and four companies have committed to maintaining a presence in Alabama.

The accelerator is supported by Alabama Power, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA), the Alabama Department of CommerceAltecPowerSouth, the University of Alabama and Southern Research. The supporters play a key role in the accelerator process, with the common goal of growing the Alabama startup ecosystem.

“The second class of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator has brought some of the brightest minds and entrepreneurs to the state of Alabama this fall,” said Tony Smoke, Alabama Power’s senior vice president of Marketing and Economic Development. “We can already see the success of this year’s class and the investment they are making in the energy industry.”

Demo Day nears for Techstars energy innovators in Birmingham from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Class members are:

Accelerate Wind

St. Louis

Making wind energy generation affordable on commercial buildings.

Founder: Erika Boeing, CEO



San Francisco

Automated inspection and monitoring for physical assets.

Founder: Keith Miao, CEO; Robert Reynoso


Flux Hybrids

Raleigh, North Carolina

A system to convert vehicles to plug-in hybrids at a price that pays for itself.

Founders: Micah Ulrich, CEO; Cody Biedermann, Clay Dowdey



Joliet, Illinois

Automating energy regulatory data and business intelligence.

Founder: Hudson Hollister,CEO; Yuval Lubowich, CTO



San Francisco

Getting petroleum out of the chemicals industry by electrifying the chemical reactors and replacing petrochemicals with waste-based alternatives.

Founder: Julie Kring, CEO



Montreal, Canada

Smart energy-storage platform designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions, prevent energy overproduction and shift peak consumption times.

Founders: Jonathan Lamer, CEO; Mario Leboeuf, Alvaro Macías Fernández, Alexandre Gibeault


Noteworthy AI

Stamford, Connecticut

Vehicle-mounted computer vision to inspect the electric grid.

Founder: Chris Ricciuti, CEO




Weather simulation for renewable energy prediction.

Founder: Rob Cirincione, CEO; Mitch Walk



Telluride, Colorado

The sustainable habit-building app makes adopting a climate-smart lifestyle easy and empowering.

Founder: Olivia Pedersen, CEO


Throughout the program, the founders have worked with more than 120 corporate and community mentors across the state. Renowned Birmingham founders including Shegun Otulana, Chris Hastings and Jim Cavale have led Founder Story events, designed to educate the teams on entrepreneurship.

“I’m so proud of this year’s class,” said Nate Schmidt, managing director of Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator. “They joined us entirely from outside Alabama and have embraced our program, and city, in ways I would have never imagined. They spend long hours working, and then head out to experience all of Alabama’s wonders, from hiking and getting outdoors, to Saw’s BBQ, and everything in between. We’re lucky to have this class join us in Alabama, and I can’t wait to experience their success post-program.”

Join Techstars for Demo Day on Tuesday, Dec. 7, to hear more from the founders who are leading the way in energy technology. The live event begins at 4 p.m. with cocktails. Pitches begin at 5 p.m. and a reception with food and beverages immediately follows, with an opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs. The event takes place at Red Mountain Theatre Arts Campus, 1600 Third Ave. S., Birmingham, Alabama, 35233. Register online.

For more information, please visit

Read profiles of the Techstars Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator’s Class of 2021: HDataNoteworthy AI, Accelerate Wind, Flux Hybrids, Khepra, Sustaio, Moduly, Sunairio and Birdstop.

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