Accio Energy has gone about as far as it can go in the lab, prompting the alternative energy startup to begin making plans to build out a demonstration project and raise a multi-million-dollar seed round to make it happen.
name was inspired by a spell in the Harry Potter books. The 6-year-old firm's aerovoltaic technology harnesses the electrokinetic energy of the wind. No turbine blades. No moving parts. Think of it as harvesting static electricity from the atmosphere.
"We've taken the concept and proven it in a lab," says Jen Baird
, CEO of Accio Energy
. "We're now at a level where the lab results show we have a very cost-effective product."
She says Accio Energy's technology is cost-competitive with off-shore wind turbines. The competitive advantage is that its technology can be floated out beyond the sight of people on the shore. Because it can be used like a buoy it doesn't need to be built into the ocean floor and can generate electricity without disturbing people.
Accio Energy is making plans to build a demonstration project for its technology early next year, possibly on the Gulf of Mexico. In the meantime it's getting ready to raise a $5 million seed round to fund that work. That can be a bit of a challenge for a startup that is both pre-revenue and pushing disruptive technology.
"We're wind energy with no turbines," Baird says. "That is hard for people to wrap their heads around."
Accio Energy is in the midst of hiring two people (a modeler and engineer) right now. The company currently has nine employees and the occasional intern. Baird expects that number to spike after Accio Energy closes on its latest seed round later this year.
"That will cause us to expand the team substantially," Baird says.
Accio Energy has raised $6 million since its launch. Baird points out that it has developed a new technology that has been issued six patents. She adds bringing new alternative energy technology to market can often cost nine figures.
"When you think how much we have done on $10 million to $11 million, it's amazing," Baird says.
Source: Jen Baird, CEO of Accio Energy
Writer: Jon Zemke
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