Itron is proud to be a corporate sponsor of the FLOW Rocket Fund at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which is now accepting applications for 2019. The Rocket Fund provides financial and entrepreneurial support to help innovators bring their technology to life.

Startups engaged in cleantech and sustainability-related innovation are encouraged to apply. Entrepreneurial mentoring and financial support ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 is awarded annually to undergraduate and graduate university students as well as recent graduates to help them transform commercially promising ideas into viable prototypes. Innovations around energy efficiency, demand response, smart grid, energy storage, renewables and data analytics are some of the areas supported by the Rocket Fund.

The 2018 award recipients included Antora Energy (energy storage), Brimstone Energy (clean hydrogen), Fullmoon Sensors (gas sensing) and ETC Solar. Supporting incubators like the Rocket Fund gives Itron important visibility into university research and academic breakthroughs, insights into new growth opportunities, early identification of promising new applications, services and technologies, and exposure to new business models.

Innovative ideas come from many sources including employees, customers, vendors, partners and incubators such as Caltech’s FLOW Rocket Fund. The Rocket Fund is one resource that Itron utilizes to gain valuable insights that might benefit the company and identify new business opportunities outside our core business areas.

As an entrepreneur-in-residence at Itron Idea Labs, I serve as an advisor and Itron’s representative on the Rocket Fund’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). I am joined by many of Itron’s California-based utility partners on the Rocket Fund TAC, including PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, SoCalGas, LACI (the Itron-supported Los Angeles Cleantech Accelerator), Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and Southern California Edison.

For more information on the Rocket Fund, click here.

James Edson on EmailJames Edson on Linkedin
James Edson
Jim Edson has served as Entrepreneur in Residence in Itron's Idea Labs since early 2017. He has held senior operations, business development and management positions at Motorola, Qualcomm, Ericsson, ARM and several early-stage technology companies. Jim’s focus within Itron Idea Labs is on smart cities and collaborating with clean tech incubators and accelerators to identify promising new solutions and startups.