PowerNorth Incubator Startup Semifinalists Announced


February 14, 2023


Nina Axelson, 612-695-1288, nina@gridcatalyst.org


Grid Catalyst selects nine energy startups for PowerNorth Incubator Semifinal Pitch Events

New program matches startups from across North America with Minnesota’s leading experts in energy to advance their innovation, as part of the Department of Energy EPIC program.

Minneapolis, MN – Grid Catalyst has announced the nine energy startups selected as semifinalists for its 2023 PowerNorth Incubator program, which provides innovative energy businesses with the opportunity to connect and collaborate with leading energy experts from Minnesota’s utility, research and higher education, and cleantech industry network, as part of the program’s Innovators Network. 

“The PowerNorth Incubator leverages Minnesota’s incredible energy and cleantech ecosystem to help these innovative startups make big strides toward commercialization,” said Nina  Axelson, Grid Catalyst president. “To achieve the energy system our state envisions for the future, we need to enable innovation, investments, and collaborations earlier and more intentionally. Each of these startups represents a promising opportunity for our region.”

The nine semifinalists represent a diverse set of technologies, including batteries and energy storage, building performance and electrification, microgrids, grid monitoring and software, electric vehicle charging, carbon capture, and energy efficiency. 

“Radiator Labs is excited about the opportunity to work with Grid Catalyst  as we expand our business to the Midwest. Entering the Minneapolis and Milwaukee markets presents an opportunity to decarbonize the legacy building stock in these cities while at the same time providing room-by-room temperature for the first time in these buildings,” said Matthew Isaacs, Vice President of Business Development for Radiator Labs.


Agrometric Solutions (Ohio) – Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) environmental control systems for Controlled Environment Agriculture (indoor farming).

ALD Technology Solutions (California) – Commercializing patented Composite WiRe Wrap and GridWrap technologies that increase grid infrastructure strength and integrity while doubling power transmission capacity.

Carba (Minnesota) – Carbon dioxide removal process (Biomass Torrefaction and Burial) using a modular reactor system for carbon sequestration.

EGM (California) – Hardware, software, and wireless communications components for the electric transmission and distribution market, focused on grid modernization, optimization, and  safety. 

Enerza (Ontario, Canada) –  Autonomous on-wire robotic monitoring to provide grid analytics at the distribution grid, such as line health, asset health, vegetation data etc. 

NeoCharge (California) – Optimization of  home energy usage and EV charging installation to help people save money, reduce carbon emissions, and accurately track EV charging usage.

Radiator Labs  (New York) – Energy management systems and electrification platforms for radiator-heated buildings, including insulated, smart, thermostatic radiator covers networked to central heating plant control.

SorbiForce (Arizona/Ukraine) – The first non-metallic sustainable battery, made from renewable raw materials (carbon, water and salt).

Vessyll (Minnesota) – Commercial energy storage device using LiFePo batteries, inverters and a proprietary battery management system built to serve as a plug and play unit.


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“Carba was launched to scale-up carbon sequestration, focused on a more energy-efficient approach to removing carbon permanently,” shared Andrew Jones, Carba co-founder. “We plan to capture and sequester a gigaton of carbon per year by 2032, and the PowerNorth Incubator promises a unique opportunity to collaborate with partners who can help us mobilize and scale.”

The program was designed to leverage  Minnesota’s energy and cleantech ecosystem, providing startups with mentorship and partnership to get their businesses on the right track to commercialization. The Innovators Network includes 3M, Carleton College, CenterPoint Energy, Connexus Energy, Cummins, Ever-Green Energy, Great River Energy, Mortenson, OtterTail Power, the Science Museum of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas Center for Microgrid Research, and Xcel Energy. 

This incubator platform was recently selected by the Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions as a semifinalist in their Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC). Programming for the incubator was developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute and ILT Academy. 


About Grid Catalyst

The mission of Grid Catalyst is to create equitable pathways for entrepreneurs and technologies to solve northern climate challenges. We work collaboratively with partners in local and state government, industry, nonprofit, and community organizations to address gaps in the development of clean energy and climate technology in our region. This work includes connecting entrepreneurs to project demonstration, mentorship and development, and investments to grow their business. The program was founded in 2021 through a partnership with Clean Energy Economy Minnesota. 

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Nina Axelson

Grid Catalyst was founded in 2021 by Nina Axelson, an industry leader with nearly 20 years of experience in energy and sustainability. Previously, Nina was the VP of Sustainability for Ever-Green Energy and served on the board of the International District Energy Association.

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