Charlotte Attracts Seven Global Startups for Regional Cleantech Accelerator


The partners behind the North Carolina Cleantech Corridor welcome the newest cohort of the Joules Accelerator Catalyst Program to the Charlotte region. Events featuring the cohort companies will take place in Charlotte on September 18th. 

This is the second cohort hosted by the North Carolina Cleantech Corridor. The $1.5 million project builds regional capacity to accelerate cleantech innovation around the Charlotte region. 

The seven startups selected for the cohort come from around the world, including two headquartered in North Carolina and represent the fifth group of cleantech entrepreneurs, “Cohort 5” brought to North Carolina by Joules Accelerator. This cohort offers innovative technology solutions for grid resiliency, transportation, workforce development, and building efficiency.

The startups will travel to the Charlotte region next week to kick off the accelerator program and meet the region’s cleantech ecosystem of utilities, local governments, companies, and universities. They will then spend 90 days working with partners to identify and launch commercialization opportunities.

“We listened to the needs of our stakeholders – our electric utilities addressing energy challenges, local governments launching ambitious climate and smart cities initiatives, and global industry leaders – to inform our final selection,” said Bob Irvin, Executive Director of Joules. “These seven companies can directly help North Carolina communities and industry, and we are excited to facilitate pilot projects and full-blown deployments to create economic and environmental sustainability across the Corridor.” 

Cohort Members 

Aurtra (Brisbane, Australia) – Aurtra protects transformer assets with an IoT-enabled sensor and cloud-based, real-time monitoring that shares insights about load conditions on grid health.  

Breezi (Durham, NC) – Breezi keeps HVAC systems healthy with its IoT-enabled Air-Pulse, “a fitness tracker for HVAC equipment.” Analytics allow users to save energy, avoid repairs, and extend HVAC life. 

Building Clarity (Raleigh, NC) – Building Clarity is a consultative, IoT-enabled engineering firm that helps clients transform their energy and HVAC environments for savings, efficiency, and resiliency. 

Circuit (San Diego, CA) – Circuit is a local, on-demand, all-electric shuttle service company focused on first/last mile gaps. The service is free to riders and funded by cities, private developers, and advertisers. 

Power Lines Pro (Sydney, Australia) – Power Lines Pro enables utilities to optimize existing infrastructure assets and prioritize future investment by creating a “digital twin” model of the utility network. 

Tacit (Sunnyvale, CA) – Tacit enables capturing, preserving, and scaling tacit knowledge for industries where front-line employees are leaving the workforce. 

Xtelligent (Los Angeles, CA) – Xtelligent provides traffic management technology for cities, improving road network performance by over 50% while also providing vehicle-to-infrastructure capabilities. 

Meet the Startups Next Week 

Next week, Duke Energy will host a welcoming reception in Charlotte, where the startups will pitch their technologies, business models, and partnership opportunities.

The companies will be introduced on September 18th at the Duke Energy Innovation Center at Optimist Hall, a collaborative workspace and part of the company’s efforts to foster a culture of innovation. Guest speakers include Brian Savoy, Duke Energy CAO and Senior Vice President of Business Transformation and Technology, and Apoorv Bhargava, co-founder and CEO of accelerator ‘graduate’ company WeaveGrid.

Registration is free and open to the public at