Over the last few months, three FuelQuest executives had the opportunity to mentor hi-tech energy startups focused exclusively on software. Modeled after the famous Y Combinator in the Bay Area, SURGE Accelerator was founded by serial entrepreneurs and Houston-based venture capitalists DFJ Mercury. Ten firms were given money, facilities, guidance, and a program that enabled development of their businesses. The program recently culminated with SURGE Day in which each company had 8 minutes to present their case for funding to an audience of angel and venture capital investors. SURGE Day was held at Houston’s House of Blues, and it had a rock and roll vibe that fit its surroundings.
What was impressive about the presenting startups was that many had functioning products and even revenue – most of which came while participating within the SURGE program. In fact, at SURGE Day, the ten companies had a whopping 24 pilots secured between them. Not bad for a bunch of startups – some of which began with only an idea at the beginning of the 3-month program.
Houston is, of course, a center of gravity for energy in the world. With SURGE, we now have an aggregation point for software startups within the energy industry that will spur continued innovation. Seeing SURGE launch with such force and momentum is just what we need for Houston to remain a driving force. FuelQuest is proud to have offered our expertise. We look forward to SURGE Day 2013 and the next class of innovators!