Skip to content

CLASS 1 | 2021

    Meet the first class of 12 startups accelerating the energy transition

    The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator was launched in Summer 2021 to increase the likelihood of success for early-stage startups advancing solutions for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable future. Read more about our founding story.

    The first application season for the accelerator drew interest from a wide array of startups, both early-stage and later-stage—a testament to the growing focus on Houston’s role in the energy transition. Startups applied from 14 states and a total of eight countries. Impressive applicants brought forward a range of clean energy solutions to be commercialized, some already generating revenue, making the selection process very competitive.

    12 startups were selected to participate in Class 1 of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator.


    • SeebeckCell joins Chevron Technology Ventures Catalyst Program. Read more in the press release.
    • Mote moves forward with first Carbon Removal Plant to convert wood waste to hydrogen. Read more in the press release.
    • Kanin Energy partners with Tallgrass Energy to develop four waste heat to power projects in Ohio and Indiana.
    • Arolyticssecures $375K funding SDTC and partners with SPL to improve delivery of Lead Detection and Repair (LDAR) data to existing SPL customers.


    3E Nano is a Toronto-based nanotechnology company that has developed an earth-friendly, high performance solar energy control coating for polymeric substrates.

    Watch 3E Nano's pitch

    With proprietary algorithms and emissions modelling, arolytics has developed a SaaS platform that optimizes how the oil and gas sector tracks, manages, and discloses greenhouse gas emissions for compliance and ESG purposes, saving companies up to 40% on their associated fugitive measurement costs.

    Watch Arolytics' pitch

    CoFlow Jet Wind Turbines is developing transformative ultra-high efficiency (capacity factor) low energy cost wind turbines to expand wind energy usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Watch CFJ's pitch

    Criterion Energy Partners is an independent exploration and production company focused on developing decentralized direct geothermal energy projects to help commercial and industrial consumers by providing clean, reliable, baseload energy using heat from the Earth.

    Watch Criterion EP's pitch

    Hydrodine Catalytics has developed a zero emissions cleantech that eliminates the need for fuel gas, enables gas producers to capture Offset Carbon Credits, lowers CAP/OPEX, provides power at remote natural gas well sites, and improves operator safety.

    Watch Hydrodine Catalytics' pitch

    Kanin Energy is a turnkey developer and innovative investor of waste heat to power projects—helping heavy industry monetize waste heat and decarbonize operations.

    Watch Kanin's pitch

    Mote is developing carbon-negative biomass gasification factories to supply customers with hydrogen.

    Watch Mote's pitch

    NASADYA solves the growing problem of variability management in the energy grid for power plants by converting a money losing by-product, excess energy, into money making co-products, green hydrogen and oxygen.

    Watch NASADYA's pitch

    Power HV's monitoring sensors and bushings help oil processing plants like refineries and transportation improve safety from methane and fire while reducing T&D losses on the electricity grid by 1% by improving transformer energy efficiency by 30%.

    Watch Power HV's pitch

    Renewell Energy converts idle oil and gas wells into the lowest cost, most flexible, highest GHG abating energy storage devices in the world.

    Watch Renewell Energy's pitch

    SeebeckCell Technologies helps petroleum and gas industries and emerging markets such as crypto mining, data centers & BEVs solve energy wastage by integrating SCT's modules into thermal management systems, and enables 4x higher (power per weight) ratio, greener production, and scalable solution to address climate change.

    Watch SeebeckCell Technologies' pitch

    Vellex Computing Formerly Groundstate) provides a software intelligence platform for advanced analytics and computation that enables more resilient, secure and sustainable grids.


    With an eye towards expediting growth, reducing risk and accelerating market adoption, we’re helping founders better position themselves and their startups for success. Founders have successfully completed six weeks at the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator.Building their networks: Our network has helped founders make connections, refine business models, shore up deficiencies and more. We estimate more than 100 mentor engagements have been initiated in the first six weeks.Learning through curriculum: Speakers have covered best practices around leadership, culture, team dynamics, product development, corporate governance, legal compliance, marketing, branding and communications and product pricing and sales—totaling nearly 30 sessionsCross cohort support: Meeting weekly in their "pods"—small groups of 3-4 startups ranging in stage and tech—Class 1 is proving the value of cross-cohort learning. Meaningful connections and new friends have been made that will provide ongoing social and professional support.

    More info on Class 1 is in our latest newsletter.



    Class 1 of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy was delivered virtually, kicking off June 28th and concluded with a virtual* Demo Day on Thursday, September 16th. The demo day was an opportunity to learn more about these solutions, how you can engage with the startups and for deal flow for the investor community.

    *Demo Day was originally scheduled to coincide with the in-person 19th Annual Energy Tech Venture Forum. Due to the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, the forum has been postponed to January 27, 2022. The event brings together more than 700 members of the energy industry including investors, corporations and the broader energy community. All CEA startups are invited back to pitch and participate in Office Hours in January.



    CLASS 1 XiRs

    The XiR supports early stage clean energy startups through key milestone development and enables access across our network of advisors and service providers that enable progress toward commercialization. Each XiR had a "pod" of startups which they worked with weekly.

    Michael Evans worked in various sectors of the energy industry for over thirty years, including ten years at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  For over twelve years he mentored energy-related tech startups while supporting the Houston Technology Center.  Mike successfully launched 3 startups, including 2 hardware-based companies.  He has been an instructor in entrepreneurship at Rice University and has worked with 3 NSF I-Corps startups.  Mike’s expertise covers all aspects of early stage company development.

    Kevin is an advocate and leader of the energy transition, co-founding the Renewable Energy Alliance the first trade group for the industry in Houston. He is the President of Energy Capital of the Future, a consulting practice in partnership with GrowthX, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The company advises startups on go-to-market strategies, and energy transition market intelligence reports for larger organizations. Kevin is a U.S. Army combat veteran and serves as a Mentor with several Houston startup development organizations, including Bunker Labs, ImpactHUB, Greentown Labs, The Cannon, Capital Factory, Rice University, and The Ion.

    Caroline is a geologist and energy resources leader with experience in exploring and developing oil and gas resources worldwide, including the US, West Africa, Caribbean and Caspian regions.  As an experienced project manager, Caroline has helped teams to identify new business opportunities, and develop and execute billion-dollar projects.  She is a strategic advisor, with experience in business analysis and reporting.  Caroline enjoys sharing her interest in STEM education with her two young daughters and by volunteering with public schools and community groups.