Episode 527

527: Rnd 5 American Made Challenge Winners Announced! Live from RE+ Media Zone

Published on: 5th October, 2022

The American-Made program is your fast track to the clean energy revolution. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, it incentivizes innovation through prizes, training, teaming, and mentoring, connecting the nation’s entrepreneurs and innovators to America’s national labs and the private sector. The prize, now in its 6th round, recently awarded the 5th round of innovators with millions of dollars to help bring their startup ideas to the world.

James Nagel and David Penalva, Co-Founders of HelioVolta were two of the American-Made Solar Prize winners. They joined Nico Johnson and Sarah Gomach on the PowerUp Media Zone stage at RE+ in Anaheim, CA on September 21st. The founders discussed the purpose of HelioVolta and how they plan to use the cash award (and non-cash prizes) to continue building their company. SolarGrade, developed by HelioVolta, is a field work management software that helps decrease downtime and increase uptime. They plan to grow the team and continue to implement their technology in the field.

Two hardware teams, Origami Solar, represented by Eric Hafter and TECSI Solar represented by Samuel Truthseeker joined the stage as well to talk about their technologies and growing companies. Origami Solar intends to reverse the solar industry’s reliance on aluminum, unlocking dramatic cost savings and reducing environmental impact (GHG) with an innovative and patent pending design for steel module frames. TECSI Solar was established with the single purpose of advancing the engineering capabilities of companies in the solar space, with competency in all aspects of product development.

Sierra Fan, founder of illu and another prize winner, joins Nico and Sarah as well. illu is software for field teams deploying, operating, and maintaining distributed power assets. She discusses how to increase quality during the install process. 

Do you have a start-up that could benefit from AMC prize funding? 

ACT FAST, the 6th round is open till Tomorrow, October 6th! 

If you want to connect with today's guest, you’ll find links to their contact info (linked, twitter, etc) in the show notes over on the blog.

SunCast is presented by Sungrow, the world’s most bankable inverter brand.

You can learn more about all the sponsors who help make this show free for you, here: www.mysuncast.com/sponsors

Remember you can always find the resources and learn more about today’s guest, recommendations, book links, and more than 525 other founder stories and startup advice at www.mysuncast.com.

You can connect with me, Nico Johnson, on Twitter, LinkedIn or email.

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About the Podcast

SunCast is dedicated to providing the knowledge, research, tools and expert guidance you need to understand, grown and be ahead of the curve in the fastest growing solar markets in the world. Each week, host Nico Johnson takes you deep into conversations with solar energy industry executives from leading companies like SolarCity, SunEdison, Nextracker, Trina Solar, Conergy, Greentech Media and discovers what THEY are using to get ahead in emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tune in, and stay informed.