Free Electrons | Who We Are
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Who We Are


The energy market has seen rapid changes in recent years with the rise of renewables, decentralization of the energy system, regulatory uncertainties and disruptive new technologies. To stay ahead, there is a strong need for utilities to source more innovation externally and consider the ‘beyond utilities’ business models.


Therefore, we have created an alliance of energy accelerators and utilities that are committed to supporting energy entrepreneurs and startups to transform the energy market with next-generation ideas. We’re building an international, advanced accelerator program focused on startups that have already raised money, created a working prototype, and earned a few battle scars along the way. Our program will help startups “level up” quickly, with curated support and access to a network of utility giants with more than 70 million customers in both electricity and gas and over 148 billion USD in revenue across 40 countries.


Free Electrons is managed by New Energy Nexus and swissnex San Francisco.


The program is a win-win solution for everyone involved.

Accelerators help utilities embrace cutting-edge solutions. Utilities help startups scale.

It’s a beautiful, mutually beneficial cycle that will redefine the energy system.


AusNet Services
AusNet Services is a major player in the Australian energy industry. We are Victoria’s largest energy delivery service business owning and operating approximately $11 billion of electricity and gas distribution assets that connect into more than 1.3 million Victorian homes and businesses. The energy landscape is transforming and so are we. We are looking for new ways to move energy with significant investment in creating energy solutions to meet tomorrow’s needs. More information at


Chad Hymas, Executive General Manager, AusNet Services

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)
DEWA is committed to promoting Dubai’s vision through the delivery of sustainable electricity and water services at a world-class level of reliability, efficiency and safety in an environment that nurtures innovation with a competent workforce and effective partnerships; supporting the sustainability of resources. More information at


H.E. Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO, DEWA

ESB (Electricity Supply Board)
ESB is Ireland’s leading energy company, operating across the full spectrum of the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to supply. In addition, ESB extracts further value at certain points along this chain: supplying gas, using our networks to carry fibre for telecommunications, developing electric vehicle public charging infrastructure and an international consultancy arm which has worked in 120 countries globally. More information at


Paul Mulvaney, Executive Director of Innovation, ESB (Electricity Supply Board)

EDP (Energias de Portugal)
EDP is an energy producer, distributor and retailer with around 12 million customers in Portugal, Spain and Brazil. EDP has around 25GW of power production capacity of which 10GW are wind power generation, making us the 4th largest wind power producer in the World and 3rd in the US, and 5GW are hydro. Our renewable power business is present in 14 countries including US, Brazil and several European countries. More company information at and startup support program information at


Luis Manuel, Executive Board Member, EDP Innovation

innogy SE is a European energy company, offering sustainable and innovative energy solutions. With its three business areas of renewables, grid & infrastructure as well as retail, it addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world. More information at


Stefan Padberg, Managing Director of innogy New Ventures LLC 

Florian Kolb, Managing Director of innogy New Ventures LLC 

Origin Energy
Origin is an Australian integrated energy solutions provider with leading positions across energy retailing, power generation and natural gas production. Origin has a rapidly growing renewable energy portfolio, and was the world’s first energy company to adopt all seven ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ initiatives, joining a worldwide group of non-government organisations, signatory companies and institutional investors committed to leadership on climate change.  Origin is also scaling up its capabilities in digital metering and data and analytics to create more innovative and differentiated energy solutions for its millions of customers. More information at


Anthony Lucas, Exec. General Manager, Future Energy and Business Development, Origin Energy

Dr. Cameron Briggs, Head of Future Energy, Origin Energy

Singapore Power
Singapore Power Group (SP) is a leading energy utility group in the Asia Pacific. It owns and operates electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses in Singapore and Australia, and district cooling businesses in Singapore and China. More than 1.4 million industrial, commercial and residential customers in Singapore benefit from SP’s world-class transmission, distribution and market support services. The networks in Singapore are amongst the most reliable and cost-effective worldwide. For more information, please visit


May Liew, Director of Strategic Development, Singapore Power

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving more than 29 million homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 74 subsidiaries and affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 43,330 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, totaled 6.8 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information, visit


Hirokazu Yamaguchi, Executive General Manager, Business Innovation Task Force


New Energy Nexus
New Energy Nexus supports clean, smart and distributed startups worldwide by facilitating collaboration and innovation between industry experts, accelerators and startups that are transforming tomorrow’s energy systems. New Energy Nexus is powered by the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF). The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) has been investing in, and accelerating clean energy innovation and and startup ecosystems for over a decade. CalCEF is tightly integrated in a web of clean energy research institutions, startup accelerators, and investors. More information at


Hendrik Tiesinga, Co-Founder and CEO, New Energy Nexus

Andrew Chang, Director of Partnerships, Asia Pacific, New Energy Nexus

swissnex San Francisco
swissnex San Francisco fosters international collaboration in the fields of education, research and innovation. With a belief that entrepreneurship is crucial to the clean energy transition, swissnex SF launched the SAFT – Energy startup solutions for 2050 accelerator program in 2015. swissnex SF brings over 13 years of experience connecting innovators with the right contacts and resources in Silicon Valley that they need to take their ventures to the next level. More information at


Laura Erickson, Associate Director, swissnex San Francisco

Steven Reading, Head of Corporate Innovation & Startup Development, swissnex San Francisco

Franziska Steiner, Innovation Associate, swissnex San Francisco


Powerhouse is the world’s first and only incubator and accelerator dedicated to solar. Our incubator houses the world’s most ingenious solar software startups and our accelerator invests in them. Our passion is supporting solar entrepreneurs to succeed. Startups at Powerhouse cover every segment of the solar software value chain. For more information, please visit


Emily Kirsch, Co-Founder and CEO, Powerhouse

Elemental Excelerator
Elemental Excelerator works with innovative startups and utilities to create a 100% clean energy future. We work to transform entire systems – including energy, water, transportation, agriculture, and cybersecurity – funding up to $1 million USD per company and opening up a world-class network of investors, customers, and experienced CEOs to help our portfolio companies change the world. More information at


Jill Sims, Co-Founder & Demonstration Track, Elemental Excelerator

Ramsay Siegal, Recruiting and Pipeline, Elemental Excelerator

Ryan Kushner, Partnerships and Communications, Elemental Excelerator

Beta-i was created in 2010, with the mission to improve entrepreneurship through 3 main acting principles: create and boost a network of entrepreneurship, accelerate startups with global ambition and facilitate their access to investment and create space, services and products focused on startups. With the accumulation of experience, knowledge and networks, over a period of more than six years working with startups and entrepreneurs, Beta-i aims to transfer this know-how of acquired experience to companies through its proprietary methodology called LEAN Innovation. More information at


Manuel Tanger, Co-Founder and Head of Innovation, Beta-i

Ricardo Marvão, Co-Founder and Head of Global Resources, Beta-i

Founded in 2010, Nest builds innovative platforms to support entrepreneurs on their individual journeys. We’re doing this because we believe the best path to achieving positive impact is to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit and empower founders on their mission to achieve the extraordinary. Our three platforms include Nest Innovation, which delivers a range of transformational programmes including accelerators, innovation challenges and thought leadership events, Nest Ventures which is an early stage venture capital firm specialising in startups developing impactful world-changing technologies, and Mettā, a members’ club for the entrepreneurial community.


Nest is headquartered in Hong Kong and has built a global network spanning Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Nairobi, Paris and London. More information at


Ethan Pierse, Managing Partner, Nest

Gregory Experton, Programme Manager, Nest