What is the Southern California Energy Innovation Network?
The Southern California Energy Innovation Network (SCEIN) is a free program for startups that are developing solutions to help California meet its energy goals. The program provides access to the resources and facilities of a number of regional partner organizations (listed below) and connections with industry in order to accelerate the commercialization of emerging energy technologies.
To date, 73 companies have been served by SCEIN, 36 of which are active in the program in 2023. Together, these startups employ 812 people, have had 469 patents approved, and have raised over $418 million in follow-on funding from public and private sources since being accepted into the program. 86 percent of SCEIN companies have female, minority, or veteran representation on their C-Suite leadership teams.
The program is the result of a grant from the California Energy Commission awarded in 2016 to help advance California’s energy innovation industry.
What Business Services Are Available?
The Southern California Energy Innovation Network engages with partners, regional stakeholders, and other local service providers to offer free business services customized to the unique needs of each company, including:
- Industry Connections
- Research and Testing Facilities
- Pilot Project Opportunities
- Regulatory and Policy Guidance
- Hardware Design and Simulation Support
- Software/Data Analytics Support
- Access to Student Intern Projects
- Market Intelligence
- Business Workshops
- Pitch Deck Development
- Presentation/PR Opportunities
- Introductions to Capital Providers
- Notification of Grant Solicitations and Prize Competitions
- Business Service Referrals
Who is Eligible?
- The company must have a California business address
- The company must currently operate out of (or have near-term plans to do business in) one of the four counties in our territory: San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, or San Bernardino
- The company’s technology must be energy-related with the ability to benefit California’s electric ratepayers. It should fall under one of five general categories:
- Energy Efficiency (envelope, lighting, HVAC, plug loads, pumps, energy management software)
- Renewable Energy Generation (wind, solar, wave, geothermal, hydro)
- Energy Storage (battery materials, electrochemical, mechanical, and thermal storage devices)
- Smart Grid and Energy Services (demand response, energy IoT, smart metering, DERMS, data analytics, and microgrid technologies)
- Clean Transportation (EV charging infrastructure and software platforms)
Intellectual Property: The IP for an applying company’s technology must be either owned or licensed by the applicant’s company.
Clean Transportation Technologies: Only electric vehicle infrastructure technologies and software platforms that manage the interaction of EVs with the grid are eligible for the program. SCEIN does not support companies with new vehicle or engine designs. For further details about this distinction, please contact email@example.com.
Zac Dobbin, Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iliana Kenyon, Program Coordinator, email@example.com
Accepted Companies by Category
Smart Grid and Energy Services
Benchmark Labs: Combines grid level weather forecasting data with site-based IoT sensors, and uses proprietary AI software to provide precise asset-located weather forecasting to optimize renewable energy generation and maximize financial benefits.
ChangeAerial: A SaaS startup providing software tools which leverage its patented Repeat Station Imaging (RSI ©) and AI change analysis technologies to automate drone-based inspection and monitoring of electric utility and other infrastructure assets. Their end-to-end approach and use of novel deep learning algorithms to exploit time-sequential images delivers more efficient, precise asset monitoring to improve performance, increase value and elevate customer satisfaction, compared to single-time, manual and AI-based approaches currently offered by competitive drone software platforms.
CleanSpark (graduate): Offers software, products, and services that support the optimized design and operation of distributed energy and microgrid projects. Their microgrid optimizer software performs in-depth simulation of multi-DER solutions based on economics, energy security, and sustainability, while their microgrid controller operates distributed assets in real-time to deliver those modeled outcomes once the system is installed.
GridWrap Inc.: This cleantech women owned enterprise is commercializing a patented novel technology that will structurally strengthen grid lines by using advanced hybrid composite materials. GridWrap’s Composite WiRe Wrap™ increases ampacity, the power capacity of existing grid lines, and extends lifespan while also addressing thermal sagging, with NO downtime and minimal capital investment. This is a key requirement for achieving safe, resilient and reliable 100% renewable energy goals.
Ivy Energy (graduate): A platform designed to help multifamily real estate investors increase their property values and secure additional monthly revenue while reducing tenant energy expenses. The company makes solar lucrative for multi-meter properties with shared roof space.
Kitu Systems (graduate): A comprehensive portfolio of communication solutions that enable coordination at scale of distributed energy resources (DER) with grid management systems. Kitu delivers EV charging and DER management services to residential and commercial customers, IEEE 2030.5 software to smart inverter and EVSE device manufacturers, and DERMS and aggregation services to utility customers.
Qubitekk (graduate): The US critical infrastructure is facing ever increasing cybersecurity threats and attacks. Qubitekk provides state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection for critical energy infrastructure using an unbreakable physics-based solution called the Quantum DataLoc transceiver. This product can be easily added into existing utility operations to reduce the cost and complexity of managing security keys.
VECKTA: As the energy transition market platform, VECKTA integrates the world’s most advanced tools, processes, and stakeholders in an end-to-end marketplace to simplify and accelerate the development of onsite energy systems and microgrid projects. VECKTA empowers commercial and industrial businesses to quickly and cost-effectively baseline their energy situation today, customize a solution specific to their needs (cost, reliability, and/or emissions), and then seamlessly engage and contract the best equipment, services, and capital providers in the market to finance, deploy, and monitor their assets sustainably and profitably.
XENDEE (graduate): XENDEE is lead by an award-winning team which has created a patented microgrid assessment and design software platform that simultaneously co-optimizes the techno-economic performance and power flow analysis of proposed energy resilience projects.
Aquacycl (graduate): Aquacycl provides the only technology for treatment of high-strength organic wastewater without dilution. Aquacycl’s BETT™ systems eliminate primary sludge, offer net-neutral energy operations and guarantee permit compliance at operational costs that are 50%-95% lower than incumbent processes.
Chilldyne (graduate): A leak-proof liquid cooling technology for data centers that uses a patented negative pressure design to save 20-40% on electricity costs and enables up to 10x higher density computing than traditional air-cooled systems.
Community Energy Labs: An AI-powered building control solution for building operators who find it complex, frustrating ,and very expensive to meet building energy goals. Community Energy Labs charges a low, one-time fee for a quick and painless installation and an annual subscription to autonomously predict and efficiently control how and when existing building equipment is operating so that more of it is powered by renewables. This model offers building owners higher levels of energy savings, lower carbon and up-front cost, and faster returns than traditional building management systems.
Conectric: An inexpensive wireless mesh sensor network + open API software platform that autonomously delivers rich data to create smart buildings and save operating costs without complicated IT commissioning and at 3x cheaper than existing solutions.
Correlate (graduate): Offers an innovative energy program subscription called FacilityBid that helps small- and mid-sized businesses save energy. For only $99 per month, Correlate develops, implements, and manages an onsite energy program that creates positive cash flow, easily, and automatically.
Enersion: Offers a trigeneration unit that produces on-site cooling, heating, and electricity with energy savings and zero greenhouse gas emissions. The core cooling technology uses nano-porous material to directly convert low-grade heat into cooling, and is integrated with localized power generation systems to provide clean energy sources at low costs.
Eversun: Developed the revolutionary eTower – an integrated portable utility system combining solar power, energy storage, communications, and lighting into one rapidly deployable platform. In under 60 seconds, the eTower’s telescoping mast elevates LEDs, cameras, and data networks up to 23 feet in the air to provide connectivity anywhere for emergency responders, the military, the construction industry, and others. Onboard lithium batteries and integrated solar provide renewable power day and night, replacing incumbent GHG-emitting portable utility towers reducing operating expenses by up to 80%, and abating 20-80k pounds of annual CO2 emissions per unit.
General Engineering & Research (GE&R): A differentiated low-temperature cooling technology based on magnetic refrigeration that is lower-cost and more energy efficient than current technologies for cooling and storing cryogenic liquids.
Harvest Thermal: Manufactures smart, ultra-efficient, and affordable space conditioning and hot water systems. A Harvest Thermal system slashes emissions from heating and hot water by 90% compared to gas equipment, and 50% compared to a standard heat pump system, while reducing customer bills by up to 40%.
Helicoid: Commercializing a helicoidal structural design that will make all composite material products even lighter, stronger, more impact resistant, and more energy efficient while enabling a lower overall manufacturing cost. Helicoid’s beachhead market is wind turbine blades.
HNO Hydrogen Generators: Developed a breakthrough innovation in hydrogen fuel cell technology that can drastically reduce global emissions in any internal combustion engine as a retrofit upgrade while lowering operating costs. Their hydrogen system is a major near term solution to immediately reduce global diesel exhaust gas emissions.
Limelight Steel: Invented a zero-emissions process to convert iron ore into steel products. Their patent pending process reduces the energy required to produce a ton of steel by over 40% and paves a path towards abundant clean steel.
Luciant: Developing state-of-the-art ceramic based phosphors for advanced lighting applications that can deliver a 750% increase in light output per specified area/volume over conventional polymer phosphors.
Renewable Energy Generation
HelioVolta: HelioVolta is in the process of scaling adoption of their SolarGrade™ software platform that is a cloud-based fieldwork management software paired with a mobile app, designed and built by real-world solar professionals to increase asset quality and performance while delivering 30% labor cost reduction for solar field work technicians and significantly reducing the risk of fire.
Ocean Motion Technologies: Developing the Air-Energy Ocean Nexus (AEON) device, which can convert ocean wave energy to compressed air for power generation and energy storage.
Primo Energy (graduate): Designs and manufactures small, lightweight hybrid wind/solar systems that harvest energy in resource-constrained environments. Their flagship product is a flower-shaped energy platform called the EnergiPlant, which is an ideal solution for parks, universities, and business campuses looking for remotely-powered hubs with USB ports, LED lights, camera systems, 5G capabilities, and more.
Solarflux: Solarflux is the developer of the FOCUS, a parabolic dish concentrator – the most efficient (>70% annual average) concentrating solar power (CSP) technology – designed to deliver low cost, zero emission thermal energy for a wide range of use cases, including industrial process heat, space heating and cooling, power generation, and desalination.
Uprise Energy: A 10 kW wind turbine that fits in a shipping container and sets up in one hour to produce clean, affordable electricity. The machine is most efficient in low wind speeds, allowing it to be conveniently located near customers that have historically relied on diesel generators for power.
ExPost: Pioneering the scaling of breakthrough technology for recycling lithium-based batteries via the patent-pending Purification-Regeneration Integrated Materials Engineering (“PRIME”) process. This innovative approach allows for the efficient regeneration of vital cathode active materials from both manufacturing scraps and spent batteries, resulting in enhanced profitability, particularly for LFP chemistry.
igrenEnergi: An intelligent Battery Management System (BMS) that makes EV and stationary batteries more economically viable by using dynamic balancing to address cell mismatch issues which cause reduced battery capacity.
Innovasion Labs PINC: Developing a proprietary, disruptive energy storage technology, based upon remolding the 200-year old traditional geometry of a battery, that results in profound performance improvements in terms of cycle life, energy density, and charge times.
RedoxBlox: A cleantech company with thermochemical energy storage technology for decarbonization, capable of providing heat and electricity when coupled with a power block (gas, or steam turbine). This unique technology is easily scaled, low cost, and is a drop-in replacement for natural gas in almost every case.
Smartville: Developing an innovative battery reconditioning process that returns used electric vehicle battery packs to a consistent and uniform state-of-health in order to provide low-cost, easy-to-integrate, and reliable stationary energy storage solutions to customers.
UCAP Power (graduate): A global provider of ultracapacitor-based power solutions across a wide range of renewable markets. Ultracapacitor systems use sustainable based products offering a long-lasting source of reliable high-power energy storage that can help eliminate lead-acid and other hazardous materials in batteries. UCAP Power’s acquisition of Maxwell Technologies ultracapacitor manufacturing capabilities and one of the largest patent and product portfolios in the industry makes UCAP Power the clear leader in the segment.
VLI-EV (graduate): A one-stop sustainable and renewable energy solutions provider that offers proprietary controls software and high power, super long life battery energy storage systems (new and recycled battery modules) with up to 25 year warranties. These systems reduce customer energy and peak demand charge costs by 20-40%, as well as CO2 emissions.
Enel X – formerly eMotorWerks (graduate): An intelligent EV charging station manufacturer (JuiceBox) and owner and operator of JuiceNet, an IoT platform for the smart management of EV charging and other distributed energy storage facilities. Acquired by EnerNOC/Enel.
KIGT: KIGT manufactures interactive vehicle-to-grid EV charging stations (220 and 440 Volt options) that feature on-board billing with card swipe and the ability to manage surge pricing and power throttling in real-time during peak demand response events.
NeoCharge (graduate): NeoCharge is eliminating barriers to electric vehicle adoption and making it convenient to own an EV. Their first product is an inexpensive and intelligent 240-volt splitter that allows EV owners to use an existing 240-volt appliance outlet to fast charge their cars and save thousands of dollars in avoided charging station and electrician costs.
Nuvve (graduate): A vehicle-to-grid (V2G) software platform that enables any EV battery to generate, store and sell unused energy back to the electric grid in a bi-directional manner.
Paired Power: Paired Power develops and delivers innovative products that pair solar energy with EV charging, energy storage, and the grid. Their patented technology delivers 100% clean solar power directly into electric vehicles.
ReJoule: ReJoule’s battery diagnostics platform helps automakers and fleet owners maximize the value of their electric vehicle (EV) batteries. This patent-pending technology is fast, non-invasive, and can provide insights on how to optimize the battery’s life cycle. ReJoule’s platform will enable a step-change in the world’s understanding of how batteries perform and enable EV owners to get the maximum lifetime mileage from their vehicles.
Xtelligent: Xtelligent is developing the traffic signal network of tomorrow. By integrating cutting-edge algorithm research with innovative sensing and learning capabilities, Xtelligent is working towards improving road network capacity by 50%+ at a 20x cost reduction. This is estimated to improve transportation efficiency by 20%+ while also enabling scaling of connected, automated, and electric vehicles.
Technical Advisory Committee
The Technical Advisory Committee aids in the screening of entrepreneurs/technologies that are seeking support from the program. The committee is composed of diverse professionals from the private, public, and academic sectors who have domain expertise across the broad scope of technologies that span the evolving energy industry. In filling out this form, you may also indicate your interest in becoming a mentor for SCEIN startups. Mentors support Cleantech San Diego staff in ensuring smooth operation of the program by checking in with assigned companies on a monthly basis to assess how program service delivery is going, keep track of progress on critical business milestones, and offer tailored guidance to mentees
The Technical Advisory Committee includes domain experts from:
- Baker Electric Home Energy
- Bank of the West
- Better Energies
- Black & Veatch
- Calpine Energy Solutions
- Caltech FLoW/Rocket Fund
- City of Carlsbad
- City of Chula Vista
- City of San Diego
- Coffman Engineers
- Enel Green Power North America
- Ernst & Young
- Impala Ventures
- Latham & Watkins
- Marathon Capital
- Mark IV Capital
- Morrison & Foerster
- Perkins Coie
- Port of San Diego
- Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch
- Proteus Consulting
- Qualcomm Technologies
- S Curve Strategies
- San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
- Solar Turbines
- Southern California Edison
- Stoel Rives
- Tech Coast Angels
- Toronto Stock Exchange
Related Funding Programs
CalSEED and New Energy Nexus
The Southern California Energy Innovation Network is a partner in the CalSEED Initiative. Through the CalSEED Initiative, the New Energy Nexus will distribute $25 million in Series A and Series B grants and provide a robust suite of business development services—business planning, research teaming, fund development, and mentoring—for emerging entrepreneurs. Learn More
California Energy Commission Grants
The Southern California Energy Innovation Network is funded by the California Energy Commission. Sign up to receive future grant opportunity announcements from the Energy Commission. Learn More
Related Documents and Resources
Cleantech Accelerator Accepts 10 Startups, San Diego Business Journal – April 10, 2017