New York City's Flagship Cleantech Incubator Grows, Adds Three Startups to Roster

The roster of the city’s preeminent cleantech business incubator is set to grow again, as three startup companies join the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE at NYU-Poly). 

The newest tenants, Energex Technologies, Enertiv and HEVO, join 11 companies that have been fostered at NYC ACRE since it was founded in 2009 with a mission to establish New York as a hub for clean energy technology innovation and entrepreneurship. In three years, NYC ACRE startups have raised more than $17 million in capital and created 100 full-time jobs. To date, seven companies have "graduated" from the incubator.  

NYC ACRE is seeded by a four-year, $1.5 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and is operated by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly). Partners include the New York City Investment Fund, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYU, Columbia University and Pratt Institute.

Energex Technologies aims to produce a first-of-its-kind environmental sensor technology to optimize and protect data centers. The company’s flagship product — currently slated for release within 12 months — will allow organizations to assess and monitor critical environmental variables including temperature, humidity, pressure, air flow, gaps, vibrations, smoke and pollutants, all without the need for multiple sensors. Energex estimates that this type of optimization could reduce data center procurement, deployment and maintenance costs by as much as 60 percent. Energex Technologies was founded in January 2010 and has six employees. 

Enertiv designs, manufactures, markets and installs real-time energy monitoring systems and software for commercial and institutional facilities. Its flagship system, Enertiv One, works at the circuit level to track, measure and report energy usage, allowing facility managers to identify energy waste and trim costs. Enertiv detects common energy drains – such as leaving lights on or running air conditioning systems on the coldest setting – as well as system-wide issues such as a clogged duct or failing electric motor. Its system tracks energy consumption to the second and the cent, from individual electrical outlets to entire floors. The founders say that one of Enertiv’s core commitments is to always manufacture and develop all hardware and software in the United States. It has deployed systems in the New Haven and Stamford (Connecticut) Public School Districts and at select YMCA and Quiznos locations.  Founded in 2011, Enertiv employs 10 people and expects to grow to 14-16 by summer. 

HEVO (Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Optimization) is developing a rugged wireless charging unit, the HEVO Power Station, designed to be deployed in parking lots and garages, motor pools, city streets, highways and other highly trafficked areas. The embeddable device will provide full interoperability and the capability to wirelessly charge any plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle fit with a compatible wireless receiver. An accompanying app, HEVO Mobile, will provide mobile platforms like wireless bill pay, mapping and guidance controls as well as safety and vehicle service access. Conceived while its founder and CEO was a U.S. Army Infantry platoon leader in Baghdad in 2008, HEVO incorporated in 2011 and has six employees. 

"There's palpable excitement each time we welcome new businesses to NYC ACRE, and we congratulate Energex, Enertiv and HEVO on joining this outstanding group of companies," said NYU-Poly President Jerry M. Hultin. "Every clean energy idea that grows into a strong business enriches our community of entrepreneurs, and builds New York City as a place where global climate and energy solutions are born." 

“NYSERDA’s six incubators, including NYC ACRE, continue to help emerging clean energy companies raise capital, produce new products and compete in the cleantech economy,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. “The innovative entrepreneurial spirit taking place in these incubators is one reason New York State continues to lead the nation in high-tech commercialization.”

Competition for acceptance into NYC ACRE is competitive, and NYC ACRE curates support services for each company based upon its needs.  Startup companies receive discounted office space at the NYU-Poly Varick Street Incubator, as well as business development mentoring, networking opportunities and introductions to the city's venture capital and utility communities. Entrepreneurs also have access to faculty and student interns from NYU-Poly and other academic partners. 

"NYC ACRE is a vital pipeline for cultivating NYU-Poly's core commitment to i2e — invention, innovation and entrepreneurship — among our students and faculty," added President Hultin. "Internships with incubator companies allow our students to help build a technology business from the ground up and to share in the thrills of success. They all leave inspired, and some even leave with job offers.” 

The recent admissions to NYC ACRE follow the “graduation” of three tenant companies. Anellotech, licensor of a thermochemical technology to produce petrochemicals from renewable resources at low cost, expects to bring its first small-scale plant online in the next few years. 

Rentricity, one of the incubator’s first tenants, uses unique energy recovery turbine configurations to transform the untapped energy in water systems into clean electricity. The company has completed three commercial installations and recently commenced the review of wastewater energy recovery for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.  Rentricity has offices in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. 

Sollega joined the incubator in 2009 with only a product prototype: a solar module mounting system called InstaRack that cuts installation costs by up to 50 percent. It has since installed systems in 20 states and has projects with GE and National Grid.

“Anellotech, Rentricity and Sollega illustrate the strength that NYC ACRE companies bring to New York City,” said Micah Kotch, NYU-Poly director of incubator initiatives. “They are bringing innovation to market, generating revenue, paying taxes and employing New Yorkers who are leveraging the city’s strengths to build a clean economy.

About NYC ACRE at NYU-Poly

The New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE) helps grow clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York City, advancing the city as a role model for a low carbon future. NYC ACRE is seeded by a four year, $1.5 million grant from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) to NYU-Poly. Aimed at assisting entrepreneurs and innovative, scalable start-ups that are providing solutions to climate and energy issues, the initiative focuses on growing the cleantech/renewable energy sector and creating technology jobs in New York City. For more information, visit http://www.nycacre.com.

About Polytechnic Institute of New York University

Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliated institute of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 158-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region, around the globe and remotely through NYUe-Poly. NYU-Poly is an integral part of NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU Shanghai and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in downtown Brooklyn. For more information, visit engineering.nyu.edu.