Energy Sprint Explores Alaska Energy Business Ideas

Energy Sprint Explores Alaska Energy Business Ideas

Volt 49 is a renewable energy sprint based on the Google Ventures' Sprint  process. A sprint give innovators new skills to jump start potential business ideas and quickly realize when an idea is doomed to fail. ACEP was instrumental in the development of Volt 49 and provided their office space in the new Engineering Learning and Innovation Facility for the Fairbanks team.

Participants from across Alaska were divided into four teams. ACEP’s Heike Merkel participated on the Fairbanks team, which developed an improved thermostat operation. The other teams worked on a microdata infrastructure for rural Alaska, a website to assist off-grid users who want to learn more about their solar options, and a financing model for small-scale energy efficiency projects in rural Alaska.

Lee Santoro and Chris Pike from ACEP attended the final project showcase on April 20 at the Anchorage Community Works in Anchorage.

At the showcase, the four teams presented their ideas to an audience that included a diverse group of energy stakeholders and curious individuals from around the state. The microdata infrastructure team won the grand prize. Nolan Klouda from the UAA Center for Economic Development delivered a keynote address that highlighted the growing importance of renewable energy in the state's economy.

Volt 49 winning team Micro 49 on stage with event judges Christi Bell (BEI), George Martinez (Municipality of Anchorage), and Brian Hirsch (Deerstone Consulting). Photo by Ciara Zervantian/CED.