Cloud technology and all that it can enable was the theme of the 2015 Cleantech Forum in San Francisco. From farming to water to food supply chains to energy access, startups offering cleantech solutions and services showed off in pitch competitions, discussions, and panels at the conference. The cleantech sector is rapidly growing, and the interest from investors and the funds behind them are growing with it.
Here are 10 startups at the 2015 Cleantech Forum that stood out.
Puralytics is a well-known company in the water purification space. The company has three main products: the SolarBag, a sunlight activated personal purifier, the Shield 1000, an LED activated water purifier that cleans water without a waste stream and minimizes energy use, and the LilyPad, which is a solar activated water treatment device that floats in ponds to purify water.
2. Persistent Efficiency
Persistent Efficiency is a startup that created the Power Patch, a stick-on sensor that monitors and analyzes data from circuit breakers, so homes and businesses can know how much energy they're using and how efficient they're being. Simply tape it on the breaker, no electrician needed. The company is currently accepting Beta testers.
Leeo is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm system for your home, making your smoke alarm much smarter than it's ever been. Their Smart Alert Nightlight is a plug-in system that connects to your existing alarm with no extra fees or contracts. If there are smoke alarms or carbon monoxide risks, it will send notifications to your smartphone.
Powerhive is a tech company that offers access to affordable, accessible microgrid energy solutions. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, the company works with communities through the entire process, from financing and monetizing to managing distributed microgrid solutions. Their pilot deployment was in Kenya in 2012, where they installed an 80 kilowatt microgrid and connected 300 homes.
5. Off Grid Electric
Off Grid Electric is a solar-as-a-service company for developing market, aimed at getting people off kerosene and using solar panels to get electricity. The company also has software to gather and analyze data about these communities, which is also important in the space because this type of data about behavior in emerging markets hasn't been monitored before.
Topolytics is a software as a service platform for environmental risk reporting. It uses geo-space technologies and analytics to make sense of environmental data using mobile, airborne, and fixed sensors. It also aggregates data from organizations, individuals, and governments and simplifies it for the organizations so they can discover how they're using energy, how much waste they're producing, and where they can be more efficient, lower costs, and reduce risk.
Sunlayar takes the boring part of the solar industry — the physical installations — and makes them smarter. Using AI, wearables, and mobile devices, this startup is trying to make solar installations much more efficient, faster, safer, and more reliable. It's still in Beta, but is tackling an issue in the industry that isn't often talked about.
Lumense is a chemical and biological sensor platform to have better quality control over raw materials or production conditions. It can monitor liquids and gases and offers real-time analytics and automated maintenance. Lumense, which started out of Georgia Tech, wants to make our food, water, and air supplies safer and better.
9. Locus Energy
Locus Energy is a big data solar company, providing analytics and monitoring of data for solar companies and organizations with solar deployments. The company wants to reduce the complexity of solar monitoring for both large and small arrays around the country. It can also tell users why a certain array isn't performing up to par, which has been lacking until now.
Lagoon makes water sensors that turn average water meters into smart, IoT devices. The sensors retrofit on to the water meters and connect to a base station in the area via low frequency radio. They gather data about leaks and usage, send the information to the cloud, and give users insights into that data, using notifications and alerts for mobile devices.
- What big data, drones, and the cloud can do for the future of food security
- How cleantech-as-a-service will drive renewable energy adoption
- Cleantech trends to watch in 2015
- How tech companies are propelling the environmental movement, and why it's time to do more
- 10 reasons cleantech made a comeback in 2014
Lyndsey Gilpin has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Lyndsey Gilpin is a former Staff Writer for TechRepublic, covering sustainability and entrepreneurship. She's co-author of the book Follow the Geeks.