New Orleans innovation hub The Idea Village has announced a partnership with Shell to launch an accelerator program and bootcamp that will specifically support energy startups. The ENERGYx accelerator is certainly on fertile ground, as the Louisiana energy sector has a $72.8 billion annual impact on the state.
“Our region has a long history with energy, and we are proud to continue to build upon that trend by supporting and encouraging new energy innovations. Shell has been a valued partner of ours over the years. We have always admired Shell’s dedication to advancing startups and innovators within the energy industry,” The Idea Village CEO Jon Atkinson told Hypepotamus.
“We’ve teamed up to co-create this pilot program, and we’re excited to infuse Shell’s robust network and expertise into our proven accelerator model.”
The Energy Innovators bootcamp is accepting applications until November, and will kick off in December with a 4-day bootcamp to evaluate the value proposition of the accepted companies. They will then select a few to move on to the 4-month ENERGYx Accelerator.
From January to April, those selected will undergo a structured education curriculum that will validate their business model, help them build a market-ready product, and start to gain customer traction.
The ideal startups are pre-seed or seed-stage that are focused on the areas of Underground Piping Inspection and Robotics Automation. They will be evaluating prospective applicants based on four categories: novelty, value substance, viability of the idea, and relevancy to the future of energy.
“Founders should have domain knowledge and relevant skills and experience to allow the business to grow, and of course, be ready to collaborate. We are scouting for startups and innovators with unproven and unusual technology ideas in their early stage of development,” says Atkinson.
After completing the ENERGYx accelerator, a group of selected companies will be invited to the Shell GameChanger™ program and will be eligible to receive up to $400,000 over two years to develop their idea and move to a commercial-ready product.
“Shell has been innovating for more than a century to produce more and cleaner energy,” said Lene Hviid, Global Manager for ShellGameChanger, in a statement. “Building upon our ongoing work in the startup community, we are excited to be partnering with The Idea Village to provide energy entrepreneurs with structure, accountability, and support through its robust entrepreneurial network.”
Atkinson joined The Idea Village as CEO this past summer after a long entrepreneurial career in the New Orleans startup community. “I see this city as being a place that can broaden the definition of technology in a lot of ways,” he told Hypepotamus this past August.
One of Atkinson’s immediate goals as CEO was to find the most efficient ways to support founders at all stages and provide them resources, like this industry-specific accelerator, to grow and scale their companies with the right support.
The hub will also be hosting their industry-agnostic core IDEAx Accelerator that runs from January to April and are currently seeking applicants from growth-oriented startups.
“At The Idea Village, we believe that entrepreneurship can transform communities, and we aim to do this by creating programs to help entrepreneurs accelerate and scale their businesses as quickly as they can.”
“If we can cultivate more businesses that can succeed at scale, that translates to jobs, upward mobility, opportunities and civic leadership on a new level,” says Atkinson.