2021 Renewable Energy Founder Forum – Invitation to startups

The matchmaking event brings together renewable energy startups and investors.

Startups are being invited to apply to make their pitch for funding at the 2021 Renewable Energy Founder Forum.

The 2021 Renewable Energy Founder Forum is now in its third year, providing a platform for renewable energy startups to showcase their ideas and pitch directly to Australia’s investment community.

Delivered as a partnership between ARENA and Innovation Bay, past events have featured some of Australia’s most exciting startups and star studded panels of energy experts.

UPDATED: Renewable Energy Founder Forum returns to roaring success

Innovation Bay panel speakers
Mike Cannon-Brookes and Robyn Denholm appeared on the 2019 panel.

The forum provides a unique opportunity for startups to pitch to the Australian investment community and key industry stakeholders.

This year’s event will return to a dinner format, to be held at the Ovolo in Woolloomooloo on Thursday October 7th.

Details about ticketing for the event will be released soon, so stay tuned if you would like to be in the audience.

Matchmaking in action

Following the format of past years, five startups will have an opportunity to present to the audience.

The 2019 dinner showcased concentrated solar specialists RayGen, solar manufacturer 5B, EV charging software developers Everty, Solar innovators Allume Energy and EV pioneers AEV Robotics. Tesla chair Robyn Denholm joined Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and ARENA CEO Darren Miller on the panel.

In July 2020, 5B announced they had completed a $12 million capital raise, including a stake from US generator and distributor AES Corporation. Co-founder and CEO Chris McGrath told ARENA that they were grateful for the opportunity to speak directly to the renewable energy industry, investors and venture capital market.

“We actually closed an investment directly off the back of an introduction at the speed dating event.” McGrath said.

“We met with Artesian and they invested $1.5 million into our pre-series A round. The event, and also the Artesian investment, provided a massive amount of momentum for us to close the remainder of our series A….”

RayGen also had a strong start to 2020, raising equity to build a “solar hydro” power plant in central Victoria. RayGen’s Head of Business Development Will Mosley told ARENA that the event delivered an important relationship.

“We got the opportunity to pitch at last year’s founders dinner and came away with an important relationship with both an investor and a partner,” Mosley said.

“Events like the renewable energy founder dinner not only allow us to tap a network of investors in Australia, but also reach potential customers and partners and developers,” he said.

Unstoppable force

In 2020, five more startups made their pitch:

  • Small-scale wind provider Diffuse Energy
  • Battery innovators Relectrify
  • Relocatable solar pioneers Solpod
  • Solar construction experts Iron Matrix
  • Electric aircraft propulsion developers Electro.Aero

COVID forced the 2020 event online but couldn’t dampen spirits, with startups presenting to an online audience and panel made up of Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, CEFC Innovation Fund Director Kristin Vaughan and Macquarie Group’s VP for energy and technology Nick Carter.

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Whether supporting startups through A-Lab or showcasing talented founders in events like these, ARENA is always looking for ways to support our thriving sector beyond just our financing of projects and knowledge sharing.