Call to Australian Energy Innovators in search for the world’s best start-ups

18 January 2018

AusNet has once again joined forces with seven leading international energy companies to search for start-ups to participate in the second annual round of Free Electrons, a global energy start-up accelerator program.

As with the 2017 program, twelve start-ups will be selected to work closely with mentors, local accelerators, and utilities to jump-start their business. Apart from an unrivalled opportunity to see their ideas realised, the global winner will win $200,000USD – one of the largest prizes of its kind in the world.

In 2018, the top dozen start-ups will be invited to participate in workshops in Sydney, Melbourne, Silicon Valley and Berlin, providing exposure to some of the world’s leading minds in innovation, energy and clean-tech.

Among the nine key areas of interest are innovative ideas in clean energy, smart grids, energy efficiency, energy management, energy access, E-mobility, customer solutions, business models, innovation, and the Internet of Things and digitisation.

Last year’s program resulted in a number of the participating start-ups receiving trial agreements or participation in negotiations for further investment. AusNet is pursuing opportunities with three promising groups:

  • Driivz – an operator of electric vehicle charging networks
  • Aperio – who offer systems providing defence against cyber threats
  • DataGlen – a provider of next generation, high-performance solar monitoring systems

AusNet takes its role of providing reliable, affordable electricity seriously. Nurturing technology and concepts which help build and empower our new energy future is a critical focus for our business,” said Chad Hymas, Executive General Manager, Commercial Energy Services.

Applications for the 2018 Free Electrons program are now open at, and close on 28 February 2018.

About AusNet

AusNet is Victoria's largest energy delivery service, owning and operating approximately $11 billion of electricity and gas distribution and transmission assets that connect into more than 1.3 million Victorian homes and businesses. AusNet is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: AST) and Singapore Exchange.

About Free Electrons

AusNet’ partners in the Free Electrons program include DEWA (Dubai), ESB (Ireland), EDP (Portugal), Innogy (Germany), Origin (Australia), SP (Singapore) and Tepco (Japan).

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