Energy: US 2016

Energy: US 2016

Solving Challenges in Energy Efficiency

Energy is an important driver behind a number of environmental and social pressures, including climate change, land and water use, social inclusion and economic prosperity. Energy is used to collect, purify and transport water; to haul waste and goods; and to bring energy itself to end-users.

In 2016, roughly one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States emanate from fuel combustion in transportation systems. And not only does transportation represent the second-largest cost for the average American household and the largest cost for households that earn $50,000 and less, but also an exorbitant cost embedded in the price of energy, food, water and other goods. For example, the average meal in the United States travels over 1,500 miles from the farm to tables in trucks, trains, and airplanes.

In the Village Capital Energy: US 2016 program, supported by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, we are gathering 9 early stage ventures solving energy inefficiencies across our goods value chain, with a specific focus on the transportation of energy, water, food, and other goods. The demand for these transportation-dependent resources is expected to rise by 40 percent by 2030, presenting a unique challenge to make and maintain low-carbon lifestyles.

This 14-day program over the course of 3 months will support entrepreneurs with an award-winning program curriculum, 1:1 mentorship from sector leaders, and tailored engagements with potential strategic partners and investors.
At the end of the program, the two ventures ranked highest by the other entrepreneurs in the group will receive up to $125,000 each in pre-committed investment from VilCap Investments, the New Belgium Family Foundation and Sustainable America.

Read our latest thoughts on energy: 


Eligible Enterprises:

Examples of solutions include, but are not limited to:

Directly Decreasing Energy Use

  • Off-grid energy technologies that reduce the need to haul fuel

  • Solutions in the energy sharing economy that reduce carbon emissions

  • Solutions that facilitate local food production and reduce the need for long-haul food transport

Improving Energy Efficiency

  • Energy efficiency improvements in farming equipment

  • Light-weight solutions that reduce the fuel consumption for transporting heavy fuel, water, and food

  • Solutions that enable a less energy-intensive cold chain

  • Advanced software and hardware freight technologies

  • Energy efficiency improvements in the trucking industry

  • Energy storage solutions that improve the efficiency of transportation

  • Reductions in energy waste in our supply chains

Furthermore, eligible enterprises must:

  • Have at least one full-time team member
  • Have a minimum viable product
  • Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)

Program Dates and Locations:

Workshop 1: Fort Collins – Monday, August 29th  – Thursday, September 1st 2016

Workshop 2: Los Angeles – Wednesday, October 5th – Saturday, October 8th 2016

Workshop 3A: Houston – Thursday, October 13th – Friday, October 14th 2016

Workshop 3B & Venture Forum: Detroit – Monday, November 14th – Thursday, November 17th 2016


(Village Capital Energy US accepts enterprises from anywhere in the United States)



Andrew Amigo Blackburn Energy
Colin Huwyler Optimus Technologies
Daniel Burrows XStream Trucking
Daniel Shani Energy Intelligence
Jeff Lynch Idle Smart
John Abraham M-Trigen
John Hennessy Elegus Technologies
Jon Ewing Optimus Technologies
Kraig Schulz Autonomous Tractor Corporation
Long Qian Elegus Technologies
Melinda Sims Energy Intelligence
Nissim Shani Energy Intelligence
Olin Lagon Shifted Energy
Roger Byford Optimus Technologies
Terry Anderson Autonomous Tractor Corporation



Daniel Stokley Vulcan Inc.
Jigar Shah Generate Capital
Lou Schick New World Capital Group
Marc van Gerven First Solar
Mike Roeth North American Council for Freight Efficiency
Nagesh Rao US Small Business Administration
Rose Maizner RenewableTech Ventures
Stephen Crolius Alliance Consulting Group
Todd Stevens RenewableTech Ventures