Free Electrons Reinforces Global Positioning: the third edition is on!

March 4, 2019

Free Electrons, the Global Energy Startup Accelerator closed applications and attracted close to 500 startups, with 90% new entries.

Applications for Free Electrons 2019, the first global energy startup accelerator program that connects the world’s brightest startups in the Energy scene with leading utility companies, just closed. In total, the program received 481 applications, from 62 different countries, a ‘spread’ that talks volumes about the international reach of the program.

The program only had a 10% repeat rate, and that means 90% of the startups we attracted are new entries, and that talks to the global visibility of the program, and its growing appeal. This was also possible because we have a larger network, with 2 new partners helping drive quality applications.

If we look at the categories of the applications, 18% are dedicated to Energy Management, 14% are focused on IoT & Digitization, 14% are looking into Energy Generation, and 9% are from the Smart Grids field.

The United States, with a total of 64 startups, Germany, with 30, and the United Kingdom, with 25, are the biggest contributors, but countries like Spain (24), Portugal (21), Brazil (20), or India (19) have also a strong representation.


Digital transformation is taking over a large spectrum of industries, with the integration of digital technology into all areas of business, fundamentally changing how companies operate and deliver value to customers. Free Electrons was built to tap into that potential, but also to promote a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, to question existing business models, and to get comfortable with very novel approaches. 

Entering its third edition, the program received over 1.400 applications, from 70 different countries. Startups chosen for Free Electrons get exposure to US, Europe, and Asian markets through three separate week-long ‘customer adoption’ modules in USA, Asia and Europe. Each module is structured to facilitate ongoing conversations between startups and utilities to seed pilot projects, investments and other commercial relationships. Besides opportunities for strategic investments from utilities, startups also get plugged into global investor networks.

“We couldn’t be happier with the applications process, especially since we only got a 10% repeat rate, which means Free Electrons was able to attract a whole new set of energy startups, and that is refreshing. We believe that this is critical, as we are looking for innovative solutions, that can be adopted and integrated into our companies, and by tapping into new sources we are in fact growing the potential of the program”, says Luís Manuel, Executive Board Member at EDP Innovation.

What’s next

Three international modules held across the globe are the cornerstone of Free Electrons. During the course of the program, participants will work closely with local players, utilities, mentors and other resources in order to accelerate their company’s growth.

After this first screening stage, a one-week Bootcamp will be held in Dublin (Ireland) from 2nd to 4th. Then the 1st Module will take place, in Columbus, Ohio (EUA), from May 21st to 24th. The 2nd Module will be happening from June 25th to 28th, in Hong Kong (China), with the final stage moving to Lisbon (Portugal), in September, for 3 days, starting on the 16th.