Here we go again! It's time to nominate smart grid Companies to Watch in 2013
By Liz Enbysk
SGN Managing Editor
With the New Year fast approaching, it's time for savvy readers to help us spotlight
up-and-coming smart grid companies that we'll want to pay special attention to in the
year ahead. In our fourth annual Companies to Watch competition, we invite you to nominate rising stars with the potential to be 2013's breakout companies.
To nominate a company for the SGN 13 send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the name of the company and a brief paragraph explaining why you think it has the potential to be a 2013 smart grid superstar. That last part is important â€“ it's not about the quantity of nominations we receive for each company. It's the quality of your recommendation that determines whether a company makes it through the first-round screening by SGN editors. If you nominate more than one company, please send separate emails for each.
And please think about the whole package when you nominate companies. For instance, they may have great technology or stellar leadership, but do they also have the financial wherewithal and a solid marketing plan and/or strategic partnerships? Finally, please base your nominations on future potential â€“ what they will do in 2013 â€“ not on past glories.
We'll take your nominations via email only through midnight on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. Once they are in, our team will review them and do a preliminary screening. We'll post summaries of the companies that made the cut, and then you'll have an opportunity to vote on the 13 Companies to Watch in 2013.
And what about our 2012 winners?
More than 7,000 votes were cast to determine the winners in our 2012 Companies to Watch competition. As you'll see if you click to page 2, there were good reasons why many of them made the list. Two of our winners formed a partnership; one was acquired by an industry giant, others released new products, got financing, new CEOs, new directions â€“ you name it. It's been an interesting year for most of them.
Our 2012 winners, in alphabetical order...
1. CAS Tecnologiaâ€“ In July we told you that Raleigh, NC-based Sensus purchased a 15% stake in Brazilian pacesetter CAS Tecnologia,a regional leader that provides hardware, software and services for smart metering and distribution automation. It was a milestone year for CAS, which in 2012 completes 10 years since the first installation of its communication module in the energy market for telemetry purposes. The company says experience obtained during this decade led to the achievement of current rates of availability and effectiveness of the modules above 98%.
2. ElectSolve â€“ Early in the year the Louisiana-based meter data management software company set its sights on cooperative and municipal utilities, announcing a partnership with On-Ramp Wireless (also a 2012 winner) to offer a "pre-validated, pre-integrated smart metering and critical infrastructure monitoring solution.â€
3. Enbala Power Networks â€“ The Toronto company not only impressed SGN readers; it won a litany of other honors in 2012. For instance, we told you in September it was named one of the top five most promising water tech startups by the Artemis Project and that CEO Ron Dizy was honored in Delta Management's 2013 Clean50 Awards. But it also won money; in June Enbala was awarded $1.8 Million for a smart grid project from the Ontario Ministry of Energy.
4. GridGlo â€“ In June the Florida company, which specializes in smart grid data analytics, announced the success of its pilot program with Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E). OG&E tapped GridGlo to increase the performance of its residential demand response program. Isaias Sudit, founder and CEO of GridGlo, said at the time that "our success with OG&E has not gone unnoticed by other large utilities, and GridGlo is starting a number of important new pilot programs as a result.â€
5. Nexgrid â€“ In September the company announced it had begun shipping its intelaMeter Water product, a ZigBee based plug-and-play water metering module that allows utilities and their customers to monitor water usage in real-time from any computer or smart phone. The latest product "demonstrates Nexgrid's commitment to developing new and innovative products for the smart grid," said Costa Apostolakis, founder and CEO of the Virginia company. "We now provide water and electric metering, street light control and load management on a unified communications infrastructure."
6. On-Ramp Wireless â€“ We mentioned above that On-Ramp and ElectSolve partnered early in 2012 to offer AMI and MDM technologies to munis and coops. In June we noted that wireless solutions for energy automation and M2M communications provider based in San Diego had raised $10.1 million in financing. In August On-Ramp announced successful completion of DOE-funded pilot programs with San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison that demonstrated how its wireless solution can securely and reliably monitor the hardest to reach utility assets to significantly improve grid reliability. In October Kevin Hell was hired as President and CEO; he was formerly CEO of DivX, Inc., a publically-traded technology company.
7. Power Analytics â€“ In November we mentioned that the U.S. Army had chosen PA's software for a lab in Alabama and that the San Diego company was also selected to use its software to create and operate a cluster of microgrids at three naval bases. That same month the company released the fifth version of its Paladin software platform â€“ Paladin DesignBase 5.0. In August the company's board named Michael J. Nark as its new President and CEO; Nark was previously CEO of Prenova.
8. Powerit Solutionsâ€“ At the beginning of the year the Seattle company announced its Spara energy management system controlled an estimated 30% of Californiaâ€™s automated demand response capacity. A couple of months later Powerit announced a Spara upgrade that started the product's migration to the cloud. In November, two company execs penned a piece for SGN titled Can demand response scale to the height of its hype? Earlier this month Powerit announced it had raised $5.5 million in Series C financing.
9. Space-Time Insightâ€“ We told you that the Fremont, California company raised $14 million in Series B funding earlier this year and that Southern California Edison chose its geospatial and visual analytics softwarefor a smart grid demonstration project. SGN also tapped the company's expertise when we put together our Data Analytics Buying Guide.
10. Structure Group â€“ Oklahoma Gas & Electric, working with Structure, launched its DMS in the fall. Earlier in the year the Houston company led the successful implementation and launch of the OSI Monarch Energy Management and Market Operation Systems for Direct Energy.
11. Tendril â€“ In April we told you about Tendril's work with Duke Energy on a customer engagement program using behavioral science and a few months later had a report and webinar focused on the Boulder company's work with KCP&L. Tendril raised $11.3 million in Q2 and . In August Jesse Berst wrote about the company's growth prospects and earlier this month we wrote about a change of course.
12. Tropos Networks â€“ The big story here was the Sunnyvale, California company's acquisition by Swiss giant ABB earlier this year. The company's wireless mesh technologies and products extend ABBâ€™s communications portfolio. It continues to operate and develop new products from its Sunnyvale location as ABBâ€™s Tropos Wireless Research Center. Early in the year we told you about Tropos launching new security products as well as a family of broadband wireless bridges and routers for field automation applications.
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