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Lightning Lab Electric Demo Day Pitches

Early in September 2017 four Lightning Lab Electric (LLE) teams huddled in groups at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre waiting for Demo Day to start.

The teams were getting set to deliver their all-important pitches which distilled three months of intense work into five minutes on stage.

Lightning Lab is a four-month, mentor-intensive, business acceleration programme based on the best of breed accelerator model developed by TechStars in the US. The programme provides teams with structure, startup methodologies, business skills and focused support so they can prove, build and launch their ideas into market, with speed. 

Lightning Lab Electric (LLE) takes the Lightning Lab model and uses it as a vehicle for innovation within the energy sector. It was developed with the support of Callaghan Innovation and other organisations that are passionate about seeing innovation take hold in the energy sector (including Creative HQ, Westpac, Genesis Energy, GE and Unison).

In 2017, four teams went through the Lightning Lab Electric accelerator. Each targeted a significant energy sector issue or opportunity, and applied new technology approaches to find and develop solutions. 


"Apply cloud-based computing to revolutionise High Voltage electrical protection."

MLabs is developing fast and reliable electrical protection systems, utilising customised cloud-based machine learning and existing communications networks. Its product, EPaaS, can potentially make safe electricity accessible globally, and offers lower set-up costs in emerging markets.


"Reward consumers for personal electricity goals and reduce demand peaks."

emhTrade's platform allows end consumers to behave in such a way that the impacts of their energy consumption are aligned with their preferences, be they social, ecological or financial. By creating a sharing economy for energy assets, value is created along the entire supply chain, benefiting utilities and consumers alike. 

The Lightning Lab Electric programme was hugely beneficial to us. We've never been more productive, nor have we iterated so quickly as we did through the programme.

Stu Innes, CEO &Co-founder, emhTrade


"A platform that streamlines the tender process for commercial energy consumers." uses machine learning and data science technologies to provide better customer data aggregation and to streamline the energy procurement process for energy brokers and their commercial customers.

Lightning Lab Electric was hugely beneficial for Polanyio, because our team arose from the software industry with very little previous experience in the energy sector. Lightning Lab helped us to find an energy industry partner and schooled us in how the industry functions. It was a very steep learning curve, but we feel that we now have a good foundation to build upon. 

Paul Spence, Co-founder, Polanyio


"Provide analytics to assist lines companies with cost reflective tariffs."

Ampli has built a platform that specialises in information sharing, smart meter analytics and modelling for lines companies & electricity retailers. Their goal is to be a key enabler in the adoption of smart grid technology. A joint venture between Axos Systems Ltd and Counties Power Ltd, Ampli’s solutions include: tariff design and analytics, network planning and optimisation and outage management applications.

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Updated: 27 September 2022