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GCEP Research Symposium 2017
Stanford Energy Startup Showcase

October 17, 2017 (Day 1, GCEP Research Symposium)

Back by popular demand, the 2nd annual Stanford Energy Startup Showcase highlighted 11 promising startup companies that have emerged from GCEP and other Stanford energy research programs. Stanford alums and current graduate students from the following startups demonstrated products and services that could help lead to deep global decarbonization:

Download the Posters-Showcase Directory

Aurora Solar

Samuel Adeyemo, Co-Founder, '14 Master of Business Administration and M.S. in Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources

Tim Burke, Co-Founder, '15 PhD Materials Science and Engineering

Aurora Solar is a powerful, cloud-based software platform that streamlines the process of designing and selling solar installations. With just an address and an electricity bill, Aurora can accurately determine a site’s solar potential, design the optimal photovoltaic system, perform financial analysis, and create a beautiful sales proposal in under 10 minutes—a process which used to require multiple software applications and hours of design work and site visits. Aurora is trusted by solar industry leaders around the world, and is used to design more than 12,000 installations every week.


Ajay Virkar, CTO, '10 PhD Chemical Engineering

Founded in 2010 as a spinout from Professor Zhenan Bao’s chemical engineering laboratory at Stanford University, C3Nano is the developer of the solution-based, transparent conductive inks and films as direct replacements for indium tin oxide (ITO). C3Nano is headquartered in Silicon Valley, and sales and technical support in China, Korea and Taiwan.

Citrine Informatics

Erin Antono, Data Scientist, '16 B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, '16 M.S. Materials Science and Engineering

Citrine is the artificial intelligence platform for materials and chemicals. Our platform ingests and understands large-scale data from countless sources, such as patents, research papers, technical reports, and existing databases, and uses state-of-the-art AI to anticipate the behavior of all materials and chemicals under any relevant conditions. The resulting predictive intelligence helps the world’s largest materials and chemicals companies, and materials-enabled product companies achieve their R&D, product development, and manufacturing milestones in half to one-fifth of the time of normal development processes. Our system has been applied in metal alloys, glass, plastics, solar materials, energy storage materials, and a number of other areas.

ClearFlame Engines

BJ Johnson, Co-Founder and CEO, '09 B.S. Mechanical Engineering, '11 M.S. Mechanical Engineering, '15 PhD Mechanical Engineering, Energy Systems

ClearFlame Engines is developing a drop-in replacement for Diesel engines in heavy-duty applications including transportation, off-road, and power generation, that completely displaces Diesel fuel with clean-burning biofuels (like ethanol, methanol) in order to afford increased efficiency and power, along with a significant emissions reduction. Our goal is to maintain, and even improve upon, the performance of the Diesel engine, while simultaneously achieving the low emissions of the cleanest alternatives and harnessing the carbon displacement of biofuels. Our solution leverages the energy density and ease of handling of liquid fuels, while our clean emissions provide manufacturers with cost savings on aftertreatment, and customers with fuel cost savings, petroleum independence, and cleaner air.


Himanshu Gupta, Co-Founder, '18 MBA/M.S. Environmental Engineering

Brent Lunghino, Data Scientist, '17 M.S. Computational Science and Mathematical Engineering

ClimateAI uses data mining techniques and machine learning approaches to create high resolution forecast of climate trends. This risk analysis can be used by decision makers to improve the planning process.


Richard Wang, CEO, '16 PhD Materials Science and Engineering

Jason Koeller, Battery Scientist

Cuberg is developing a new generation of safer and higher energy batteries based on its proprietary high-performance electrolyte and innovative full-cell design. The inherent stability and non-flammability of the electrolyte accommodates a rechargeable lithium metal anode and a high-voltage cathode (up to 4.7 V) in a stable and exceptionally lightweight package. Their batteries deliver not only improved energy but also greatly enhanced calendar life and operational stability at elevated temperatures.

Cuberg closed a seed investment in 2016 from a major battery manufacturer in the oil & gas industry to develop our technology for a beachhead application in batteries for downhole drilling. Since then, the company has made substantial progress in proving out its concepts and scaling up from the lab to commercial-format cylindrical and pouch cells. It anticipates building the first field-ready downhole prototypes by November 2017. Its high-energy chemistry, which have also been scaled to large-format pouch and cylindrical formats, has attracted substantial interest from dominant players in the defense, aviation, and medical device industries.

Cuberg is based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Molecular Foundry in Berkeley, California and is part of the second cohort of the prestigious Cyclotron Road hardtech accelerator. The company is actively fundraising for a $2M round from angel investors and corporate venture groups.

Indrio Technologies

Ritobrata Sur, CEO, '15 PhD Mechanical Engineering, Thermosciences division, '14 M.S. Electrical Engineering

Indrio's patented laser-based chemical detection technology is poised to disrupt the 32B chemical sensor industry. Right now, Indrio is developing sensors for leak detection in natural gas infrastructure, (a 1B dollar market in itself). In the future, Indrio envisions expanding to gas detection in manufacturing, security, transportation, healthcare and a few other areas. Indrio has not raised significant capital thus far, yet we have accomplished a few milestones:

  • Created two working prototypes
  • Performed successful field studies with oilfield services companies
  • Rented equipment to Lawrence Berkeley Labs and obtained unprecedented results

Mango Materials

Allison Pieja, CTO & Co-Founder, '05 M.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering & Science, '11 PhD Civil & Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering & Science

Mango Materials has developed a process technology platform to produce biodegradable materials from low cost, globally abundant waste methane. The biopolymer produced, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) is economically competitive with conventional, petroleum-based plastic.

The process uses naturally occurring microbes to transform waste biogas into high-grade biopolymers that biodegrade back to methane gas when disposed of in a modern landfill or wastewater treatment plant. The methane can be captured and reenter the Mango Materials process as feedstock to produce more PHA, thus creating a truly “cradle to cradle” system.

Mango Materials is pioneering an innovative breakthrough technology that will allow PHA to scale from a niche material to a widespread product that could be used, for example, for injection molded plastics or fibers. Because its core technology uses methane as feedstock in a gas-to-biopolymer production process, Mango Materials can take advantage of the large amounts of waste methane that are produced as a byproduct at sites such as wastewater treatment plant, landfills, and agricultural facilities. By using this rapidly renewable waste methane as a resource, Mango Materials can reduce the production cost of PHA significantly, allowing it to finally become cost competitive with conventional petroleum-based plastics.

Mango Materials currently operates a 500L, pilot-scale facility co-located at a wastewater treatment plant in Redwood City, CA, and has completed basic engineering for its next scale: a demonstration plant, capable of produced thousands of pounds of biopolymer per week, that will also be co-located at a wastewater treatment plant. The company is currently seeking funds to build this plant and scale its technology.

Monolith Materials

Pete Johnson, Co-Founder/CTO, '05 M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Rob Hanson, Co-Founder/COO, '07 M.S. Mechanical Engineering

Monolith Materials uses an innovative electric arc process to produce carbon black and hydrogen directly from natural gas. Our process results in carbon materials that are superior in purity and performance and competitive in cost, while dramatically reducing environmental emissions associated with production when compared to the traditional process, in which carbon black is produced by burning heavy oils. Carbon black is used in commodity industries such as car tires, belts, and pipes, as well as in specialized applications, including battery electrodes, consumer electronics, and metallurgy.

Monolith Materials has broken ground on Phase 1 of their Olive Creek Plant in Hallam, Nebraska. The plant will produce carbon black for manufacturers in North America and will also sell produced hydrogen to a neighboring power plant which will use it to produce CO2-free electricity. Monolith intends to expand the Olive Creek Plant in multiple phases as well as build additional plants in North America to satisfy the growing onshore manufacturing industries with superior performing, cleaner carbon materials.

Solstice Energy Solutions

Ugwem Eneyo, CEO & Co-Founder, '16 M.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering

Cole Stites-Clayton, CTO & Co-Founder, '15 M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Engineering

Tyler Davis, Software Lead, '14 B.S. Computer Science, BioComputation

For millions of people in emerging markets that struggle to manage unreliable electricity grids and costly back-up power, Solstice has developed the SHYFT, a remote energy monitoring and management platform, that’s enabling the next generation of connected & intelligent distributed energy management. For the next ten years, Sub-Saharan Africa alone has the fastest growing energy metering and management market in the world, growing at a rate of 234% and presenting a $22B opportunity, a large portion of that sitting in Solstice’s initial target market: Nigeria. Solstice has been supported by investors and institutions including Cisco, the U.S. Department of Energy, Stanford TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and Powerhouse.

Unreliable electricity grids in emerging markets have driven millions of people to generate power themselves, using distributed energy resources (DER) that are primarily costly & polluting generators. DERs are the future of energy grids in emerging markets, but with a vastly unmonitored and unmanaged landscape, homes and businesses struggle with productivity, efficient management of sources and the full capacity of these sources remain unleveraged. Additionally, limited data on these consumers, as a result, leaves a largely untapped solar+storage market.

SHYFT by Solstice is a first-of-its kind energy management platform that allows homes and businesses to monitor, manage and control all power sources (utility, solar, storage & generators) from a mobile or web application. Solstice’s software uses their data in realtime to give targeted interventions to drive energy savings and recommend optimal, hybrid solar+storage solutions that can seamlessly be integrated. It’s a drop-in solution that replaces users current changeover/transfer switch.

XStream Trucking

Daniel Burrows, CEO, '16 Master of Business Administration

XStream is an engineering company building connected hardware to improve the efficiency of the $700 Billion trucking industry. We aim to generate fuel and maintenance savings to drive a 10-30%+ increase in our customer’s bottom line while reducing harmful emissions.

Our flagship product, the GapGorilla, is the world’s first active aerodynamic device for trucks. It works by automatically deploying panels to cover the tractor-trailer gap when a truck is traveling at highway speeds. Since launching our first road units last October, we have won several national awards and we are piloting programs with some of the biggest fleets in North America. On this trajectory, XStream has the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars of diesel a year.


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