Electricity Groups Team With Startup Incubator 1776

When 1776 was hosting the final round of its annual Challenge Cup last week, the startup incubator's two new partners—the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation—were making an impression by handing out an award of their own.

The name “1776” packs a lot of history into just four digits, but the startup incubator is all about setting the stage for the future.

That goal is underlined by a new collaboration with the energy industry.

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI) announced earlier this month that they were partnering with the incubator, in the hopes of coming up with new ideas to help further the future of energy.

“The electric power industry is working to develop and cultivate new innovations and partnerships to help advance the industry’s transformation,” Brian Wolff, EEI’s executive vice president of public policy and external affairs, said in a news release last week. “Our partnership with 1776 allows us to identify strong startup partners and innovative thinkers who can bring to market cutting-edge technologies that deliver the energy future our customers want and expect.”

One Charged-Up Startup

Last week, the two groups took advantage of the new collaboration by participating in 1776’s Challenge Cup in Crystal City, Virginia. This week, they carried some of the spark from 1776’s event to EEI’s annual meeting, taking place in Chicago. On Wednesday, the groups handed out the inaugural “E Prize for Innovation” to the startup Ecoisme, one of the competitors in the Challenge Cup.

Ecoisme, which produces a sensor that tracks energy use in the average home, is no stranger to awards: Its product won the CES Best of Innovation Award back in January.

The E Prize, however, is particularly significant for Ecoisme, as it shows that the energy industry is equally impressed by the innovation. The win allowed the company’s cofounder, Alexander Diatlov, to show off the device to stakeholders at the EEI event this week.

“We’re very excited to receive the E Prize for Innovation and to have the opportunity to showcase our technology to the top leaders in the electric power sector,” Diatlov said in a news release. “We believe this opportunity will help us reach the next level in scaling our technology and allowing us to make a meaningful impact on tomorrow’s clean energy future.”

Besides getting the chance to attend the annual meeting in Chicago, the company will receive a one-year membership to IEI’s Technology Partner Roundtable.

“At the Technology Partner Roundtable, Ecoisme will gain a window into the top-level discussions that our industry’s leaders are having on how to identify and deliver the energy future our customers want,” explained IEI Executive Director and Edison Foundation Vice President Lisa Wood.

While Ecoisme clearly made its mark in the 2016 edition of the annual 1776 competition, it wasn’t the winner of the Challenge Cup. This year’s $50,000 prize went to MUrgency, a startup based in Dubai that has created an app designed to quickly call for emergency medical services.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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