The University of New Brunswick has launched Energia Ventures, a new accelerator designed to help develop companies in the energy, cleantech and cyber security fields.
The J. Herbert Smith Technology Management Entrepreneurship Centre launched the program on Friday, saying that the program will tap financial contributions from several organizations. It also said five companies that have grown out of the TME program are already enlisted in the Energia program.
The combination of cleantech and cybersecurity seem surprising, but TME Chair Dhirendra Shukla also said that as smart energy systems grow in popularity, cybersecurity becomes more of an issue in the energy segment.
"At Energia Ventures, we’re on a mission to attract and support early-stage startups that are at the frontier of some incredibly exciting and promising sectors – cybersecurity, smart grid, clean technology and sustainable energy,” said Shukla in a statement. “This is a very dynamic space and we’re eager to get under way, propelling some very clever ideas and talented pioneers forward.”
The university also named Edwin Rodriguez, who has extensive experience in the public and private sectors in the U.S., as the Managing Director of its accelerator programs.
The companies that are already enrolled in the program are:
Stash Energy – Stash Energy is developing an energy storage system that works with conventional heat pumps to thermally store off-peak energy. The thermal energy is stored in environmentally friendly materials, using affordable technology.
Beauceron Security – Formed by a group of cyber security and IT professionals, Beauceron seeks to battle cyber-attacks by focusing on how human behavior allows cybercrime to thrive. The company helps clients to measure, monitor and manage their cyber risk so they can make informed decisions, maximize the impact of their security budget and minimize their risk.
Trispectra Innovation Inc. – Trispectra Innovation Inc. is developing an integrated communications platform that uses sensors, wireless transmitters, and software to detect problems in power lines. The system is designed to help utility companies speed up power restoration after an outage.
Rising Tide Technologies – Rising Tide is developing a unique method of tidal energy extraction. The goal is to produce energy without installing massive turbines that many say could jeopardize marine life.
And Mbissa Energy Systems – Mbissa Energy Systems is a not-for-profit organization working to develop and deploy sustainable energy systems in rural Africa.
A statement from the university said its Energy Innovation Program has raised almost $1 million from both the public and private sector. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has contributed $405,567 and the University of New Brunswick is providing $60,000. Siemens Canada and Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization, have provided a combined of $480,000.
Siemens Canada’s support comes as part of a $2.5 million investment the global firm committed to UNB’s Faculty of Engineering announced in 2013.