Orion Energy Accelerator competition calls for entries

15 August 2022 at 9:24 am

Central Canterbury electricity distribution company, Orion, and the Ministry of Awesome have launched the 2022 Orion Energy Accelerator national competition calling for ground-breaking innovations in the energy sector.

The Orion Energy Accelerator competition offers a prize pool of $30,000 for people and startup companies with big ideas in the energy space that help reduce New Zealand’s carbon emissions.

After a preliminary selection round, 10 startups will be guided through a ten-week programme to validate and potentially commercialise their concept.

Orion Head of Customer & Communications, Paul Deavoll said, “Last year’s Energy Accelerator programme was hugely successful, and we’re excited to be running it again for the second year.

“We had a wide range of people with great ideas who say they really benefitted from the programme’s mentoring and nurturing by energy experts and the other entrepreneurs who were part of the programme.

“We encourage people with new ideas and fresh thinking to enter for the chance to have their concepts or prototypes taken to the next level, in a supportive environment.”

“We’re in the midst of a climate emergency, and it’s vital we explore every option to do things smarter and innovate faster to speed New Zealand’s journey to a zero carbon future.”

Marian Johnson of Ministry of Awesome said, “The Orion Energy Accelerator is a genuine opportunity to work with industry partners who are truly engaged in finding New Zealand’s up and coming energy innovators. This will allow ventures to quickly and efficiently validate their innovation in a supportive and goal-oriented environment. 

“We’re delighted that this year, the accelerator is supported by Callaghan Innovation and recognised as a key initiative within the Callaghan National Founder and Startup Support Programme.”

The Orion Energy Accelerator competition is open individuals and startup companies with innovations across a range of energy sectors, including smart grids, e mobility, EV charging and energy storage, and affordable energy solutions.

Applications are now open and close on 25 September 2022. Ten startups will be selected for the accelerator programme on 18 October 2022, with the final winner selected at the Demo Evening on 22 February 2023. To apply, visit www.orionaccelerator.nz

2021 winners talk about the Accelerator programme

Red Phase Technologies
"Red Phase had a strong tech background – but not much start-up exposure.
The Orion Energy Accelerator rapidly expanded our knowledge of the tech start-up world – topics including VC’s, pitching, lean business plans, governance boards, PR and marketing traction, networking, etc. A year on we are regularly in touch with Ministry of Awesome, Orion and other companies from the cohort.  The education and contacts from the Orion Energy Accelerator have been instrumental in guiding the path of our funding round”

Robert Turner & Dustin Murdock, Founders of Red Phase Technologies, winner of the Innovation Award,Orion Energy Accelerator 2021

Empower Energy
"This time last year, we were starting out with a really unformed idea about how to
address power poverty. We got accepted into the Orion energy accelerator and what it did for us was take a small idea, and extend it out into what we are now, a charity. A year on, we have launched our app and we're working with some major retailers to get the process in place to address power poverty in New Zealand."

Michael Fitzgerald, Co-founder of Empower Energy, winner of the Impact Award, Orion Energy Accelerator 2021.