Clean energy start-up incubator EnergyLab have been given a boost with the news that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and industry partners have granted it $1 million in new funding, which will in part be used to launch EnergyLab’s Scaleup program aimed at supporting late-stage startups. 

Over three years EnergyLab and its network of 200 expert mentors and more than 100 angel investors have worked with more than 80 clean energy start-ups, including Amber Electric and Powerpal.  

The program is supported by and run in partnership with Elemental Excelerator, APA, Powerlink, AusNet Services and Counties Power. It is the first time ARENA has invested in a startup accelerator, with the agency contributing $480,000. 

EnergyLab CEO James Tilbury said ARENA’s backing comes at a critical time for the energy sector. 

“We strongly believe the companies that will benefit from this funding will play an important role in helping us move beyond the current economic crisis,” Tilbury said. “Now more than ever we need to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, and we are delighted ARENA and the Federal Government will help us do this.

“We know the ongoing challenges in Australia’s energy sector are not going to disappear unless we back companies that are developing innovative solutions to transition the country, and the world, to a clean energy future.”

Tilbury said the scaleup program is the result of three years hard work building expertise on how to scale energy innovation in Australia. “The work we’ve done means we are uniquely placed to support energy startups bring their ideas to market, attract investment to grow, and bring the world much-needed clean energy solutions.” 

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project would help Australia’s brightest clean energy entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality:

“Startups and entrepreneurs play an important role in accelerating the uptake of clean energy solutions. However, they can also face challenges in reaching scale and aren’t equipped to overcome hurdles such as high capital requirements, geographic constraints and revenue delay.

“EnergyLab, through mentoring and supporting startups, will help us to see an increase in expertise, skills and capacity in the renewable energy technology sector and identify pathways to commercialisation to keep Australia at the forefront of renewable energy innovation.”