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Energy Excelerator Leans Into Automotive With New Corporate Partner, DENSO

The partnership aligns with the Energy Excelerator's newest cohort of companies and Hawaii's aggressive transportation and energy goals

The Energy Excelerator, a startup accelerator program that provides funding and strategic relationships to help young companies solve the world’s energy and transportation challenges, is partnering with global automotive supplier DENSO in an effort to further accelerate the commercialization of innovative energy-related technologies. This partnership aligns with the Energy Excelerator’s 2015 cohort of companies – 16 companies with innovative energy solutions selected from a pool of over 300 applicants – and also supports DENSO’s 2020 goal to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency, reduce CO(2) emissions, and to also reduce the world’s overall energy consumption.


“The Energy Excelerator is unique because it enables startup companies that can help solve tomorrow’s energy and transportation challenges vet their technologies in a real-world test bed through this program,” said Tony Cannestra, director of Corporate Ventures at DENSO International America. “In addition to DENSO’s extensive internal R&D efforts, DENSO is also very committed to fostering and supporting external innovation in key areas such as transportation and energy efficiency.”


As a corporate sponsor, DENSO will work with the Energy Excelerator in three key ways:


1)     Hold a position on the Energy Excelerator’s Strategic Advisory Board where DENSO will help identify challenges within the energy-transportation nexus. Those challenges will guide the selection of startups Energy Excelerator choses for the 2016 cohort.

2)     Get a first look at, and provide valuable feedback on, the newest innovations in transportation and energy that enter the Energy Excelerator’s pipeline of startups.

3)     Have the opportunity to be a project partner for proposed demonstration projects with Energy Excelerator’s cohort companies.”We are excited to partner with DENSO to address energy- and transportation-related challenges in innovative ways. Two sectors DENSO is heavily involved in, transportation and energy storage, are well represented in our 2015 cohort,” said Dawn Lippert, director of the Energy Excelerator. “In addition to aligning with our mission, DENSO can also bring tremendous value to our companies in helping scale their solutions to the rest of the world.”


DENSO’s partnership will help expand the Energy Excelerator’s program, as well as further accelerate the commercialization of innovative energy-related technologies. DENSO joins the Office of Naval Research, the U.S Department of Energy, the Hawaii State Energy Office, and Hawaiian Electric Industries as strategic advisors of the Energy Excelerator. In addition, DENSO also is sponsoring Energy Excelerator partners, Prospect SV, a Silicon Valley-based commercialization center for emerging technology companies, and Cleantech Open, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator.


DENSO’s Silicon Valley office actively works with startup companies, and through this partnership with the Energy Excelerator expects to gain access to new technologies in the areas of electric vehicles, transportation, batteries, and energy storage while also expanding DENSO’s overall presence and visibility within entrepreneurial networks.


In 2008, the State of Hawaii committed to 70 percent reduced oil use in transportation by 2030. This aggressive goal is now the focus of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, the state-federal partnership to decrease Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil. The Energy Excelerator is working with the State of Hawaii to achieve its aggressive goals by introducing new solutions to Hawaii, providing funding and facilitating the partnerships needed to demonstrate these technologies, and helping these companies scale their customer base.


About the Energy Excelerator


The Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy challenges, starting in Hawaii. We help innovative companies succeed in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific with funding, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem. Our program is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Office of Naval Research and operates as a project of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR).




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DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions and employs nearly 140,000 people. Consolidated global sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, totaled US$39.8 billion. Last fiscal year, DENSO spent 9 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development. DENSO common stock is traded on the Tokyo and Nagoya stock exchanges.


Currently in North America, DENSO employs more than 17,000 people at 32 consolidated companies and affiliates. Of these, 28 are manufacturing facilities located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In the U.S. alone, DENSO employs more than 14,000 people in California, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Alabama and Arkansas. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$7.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.


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