Got a breakthrough idea for accelerating the adoption of green home technologies or a more efficient electric grid? GE and its investment partners might be willing to pay millions for it.
GE has announced a $200 million open innovation challenge that seeks game-changing ideas to create a smarter, cleaner and more efficient electric grid. The “GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid,” is a joint investment with venture capital partners Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and RockPort Capital.
The global challenge invites technologists, entrepreneurs and start-ups to share their best ideas and come together to take on one of the world's toughest challenges -- building the next-generation power grid to meet the needs of the 21st century.
“Innovation is the engine of the global effort to transform the way we create, connect and use power,” GE chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said in a press release. “At GE we have invested broadly and deeply in digital energy solutions and see this as a substantial market for us, but we can’t do it alone. We want to work with our partners to make sure we have a comprehensive digital energy offering. This challenge is about collaboration and we are inviting others to help accelerate progress in creating a cleaner, more efficient and economically viable grid. We want to jump-start new ideas and deploy them on a scale that will modernize the electrical grid around the world.”
Proposals are sought in three, broad categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings. Select Challenge entrants will be offered the opportunity to develop a commercial relationship with GE through:
- Investment: the $200 million capital pledge of GE and its partners will be invested globally into promising start-ups and ideas
- Validation: evaluate entrant’s business strategy through in-depth discussions with GE's technical and commercial teams
- Distribution: explore partnership opportunities with GE to scale a business and create global reach
- Development: leverage GE‘s technical infrastructure and GE Global Research Centers to accelerate technology and product development
- Growth: explore opportunities for utilizing existing GE customer to take Challenge products to market
The $200 million commitment will help bring these new ideas to market by providing businesses and individuals with the opportunity to secure growth capital through GE investment and/or investment by participating venture capital firms.