Kicking Off the Energy Excelerator

Author: Kevin Davis

I can be fairly critical of accelerator programs, but after 12 days in Honolulu I’m happy to report that the Energy Excelerator is doing it right. They pulled off well coordinated, well-executed activities that helped us better understand the Hawaiian energy community and how each of our companies may fit. Furthermore, they did an excellent job of planning social events that brought the cohort closer as a group.

Business Epiphany: My casual, but often effective, ‘lets grab a coffee and have a chat about refrigeration’ cold email/call didn’t prove very successful among the Hawaiian supermarket community. It’s taken many man-hours to build Rebound’s current relationships with mainland stakeholders so I suppose it was a little naïve to think I could get to the same level with just a few weeks of preparation + a week in Honolulu. Fortunately, despite the networking struggle, I did manage to arrange a productive call with one of the more energy progressive supermarkets chains in Hawaii that is clearly open to continuing a dialogue about a future demonstration. Nice when that type of unprompted support is offered up.  

Team Exposure: Luke Erickson, our lead IcePoint™ engineer, got a better idea of commercialization challenges and hopefully a greater appreciation for customer discovery, relationship building and, in general, my day to day responsibilities.  

Collaboration: Trading in the mainland winter for a warm & sunny Hawaiian alternative naturally promotes enthusiasm, but the Energy Excelerator events, both day and night, really brought the group closer. Turns out its difficult not to form strong relationships when sunset cruises, food trucks, karaoke, impromptu fireworks, and massive amounts of fresh ahi poke are involved. We’ve spent the week supporting one another and I expect that to continue throughout the program.

These past few weeks were a great introduction to the Hawaii community and the Energy Excelerator certainly has the contacts to directly support each company’s customer discovery efforts. I’m really looking forward to seeking out those potentials stakeholders and determining where IcePoint™ best fits.

Below are a few photos proving that we did indeed manage to balance Rebound work with a bit of island fun. 

  • (1) Sunset cruise
  • (2 & 3) Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup 
  • (4) Watching the Volcom Pipe Pro surf competition on the North Shore
  • (5) Waikiki looking west
  • (6) Hanauma Bay
  • (7) Diamond Head surf break
  • (8) Kahala Beach

Photos care of the Energy Excelerator:

  • (9) A lesson or two from investors 
  • (10) Deciding what we expect the most from a mentor
  • (11) Meeting with various departments from Hawaiian Electric
  • (12) Closing out the week with prime takeaway