Three grads of the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon get major funding

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NYU Tandon's Urban Future Lab helps cleantech, smart grid and sustainable smart cities companies grow.

Since the Urban Future Lab (UFL) at NYU Tandon opened its doors in 2014, it has become a major hub of cleantech innovation. As the world demands more sustainable methods of meeting its energy needs and looks for ways to make urban areas smarter, cleaner, and more connected, the UFL has been helping startups grow — transforming the cleantech landscape in New York and beyond in the process.

More than 40 companies have graduated thus far from ACRE, its incubation program for pre-seed to series A startups, creating 600-plus jobs and raising more than $868 million in capital.

The UFL, which currently has 20 startups on its roster, has helped power-up many alternative energy companies. Among them is a trio of graduates that recently made news with their latest rounds of funding:

  • Highview Power, whose Liquid Air Energy Storage technology offers cost-efficient solutions at scale, recently raised $70 million with  funding from Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Janus Continental Group, and TSK
  • BlocPower, a Brooklyn, NY-based company delivering clean energy and energy efficiency solutions to underserved communities in American inner cities, raised $55 million in debt and $8 million in equity from an impressive array of investors, including Goldman Sachs
  • Dandelion Energy, which provides affordable, renewable heating and cooling for homeowners by tapping the geothermal resources below their homes, raised an impressive Series B of $30 million, led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures

“While for years we have quietly made a major positive impact on the economic vitality of the city, the cleantech companies we have fostered continue to grow and are developing the technologies and systems that will become the foundation of urban resiliency and clean energy needs going forward. With such stellar graduates as Highview, BlocPower, and Dandelion Energy, we are also helping to create an entirely new climate tech landscape in New York and beyond to meet some of the world's most urgent needs."

— Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives Pat Sapinsley

Among the other clean-energy companies at UFL are Amperon, which builds real-time electricity demand forecasts for energy suppliers and utilities; Buildstream, a clean energy sector labor marketplace; Diverso Energy, a geothermal utility company; eCamion, an advanced energy company specializing in integrated DC fast-charge infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV); Ninedot Energy, a community distributed energy platform; Buildee, an energy efficiency modeling platform for buildings; Soteria, focused on lithium battery tech; Sunthetics, a clean-energy technology company for chemical manufacturing; Swtch, an EV charging, and energy management company; Urban Energy, making community solar viable for NYC’s multifamily buildings; Zinc8 Energy Solutions, an energy storage technology company.

The UFL has created several short-duration acceleration programs to grow their services to meet the climate crisis. These include two accelerators in collaboration with Greentown Labs and the Frauhofer Institute in Boston- one in the green hydrogen sector and one in carbon capture and utilization. A third is a recently launched collaboration with the UK's Global Incubator Programme, through which the UFL is hosting eight cleantech startups from the UK, an opportunity to give the startups access to the US market.

The UFL is part of the NYU Tandon Future Labs, which, since launching in 2009 with the support of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as well as numerous corporate sponsors and partners, has had a direct impact of well over $4 billion on New York State, and played a major role in the evolution of New York City to a global hub of technology entrepreneurship.