State energy companies Williams, ONEOK and Devon Energy, along with venture capital firm Energy Innovation Capital (EIC) and the tech-focused nonprofit Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL), are collaborating to transform the region into a hub for energy technology startups.
Led by EIC, the initiative aims to attract energy technology startups to the region with access to resources that include free office space and personalized startup support services. EIC also provides access to seed capital with a $50 million fund and helps startups pilot future technologies with founding partners Williams and ONEOK, both based in Tulsa, and Devon Energy, based in Oklahoma City. .
By boosting research and development and innovation, the project is expected to create more than 1,700 jobs in the energy industry over the next five to 10 years, proponents say.
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“The EIC team has a proven track record of investing in and helping build energy technology startups, including market leaders in solar, wind, grid management and sustainability of traditional energy that represent more than $20 billion in total market value,” Kevin Skillern, managing partner at EIC, said in a statement. “We are honored to have the opportunity to build an energy technology ecosystem that drives the creation of new disruptive businesses.”
This collaboration will include the following elements:
EIC Roche Rose: This is a targeted $50 million fund to lead seed and Series A rounds for early-stage energy technology companies. Early investors, including the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Devon Energy, ONEOK and Williams, have already committed $30 million, which will be supplemented by national and regional investors. Energy Innovation Capital is headquartered in San Francisco, but also has offices in Houston.
Fusion EIC: A program offering energy companies support to boost their innovation programs, EIC Fusion works with companies to identify areas of strategic focus for each company and connects them with leading startups developing solutions aligned with their R&D needs. The program is managed by EIC, and Devon Energy, ONEOK and Williams will leverage it to support their corporate innovation programs.
Rose Rock Bridge: An energy technology incubator program developed by TIL, it will provide support to early-stage energy technology companies, including up to $100,000 of non-dilutive capital, office space and services to accelerate commercialization. Rose Rock Bridge has $10 million in funding over the next five years.
Rose Rock Bridge has begun accepting business applications, and eligible businesses will be accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more, visit roserockbridge.org.
“The Rose Rock initiative will give Devon and our partners direct access to cutting-edge technology and creative talent right here in Oklahoma,” Trey Lowe, vice president and chief technology officer, Devon Energy, said in a statement. . “We are excited to foster and accelerate game-changing solutions to positively impact lives everywhere and know that disruption and continuous improvement are needed to meet growing energy demand while reducing environmental impact.”
Greg Lusardi is Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at ONEOK.
“Our extensive energy infrastructure and midstream operational expertise positions us well to play a vital role in a sustainable and transformative energy future,” Lusardi said in a statement. “Working with our fellow energy companies, EIC and the George Kaiser Family Foundation is a good complement, as ONEOK’s long-term business strategy includes potential renewable energy and low-carbon investment opportunities that contribute long-term growth, profitability and business diversification.”
Chad Zamarin is Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Williams.
“Williams is committed to delivering the next generation of energy by leveraging our natural gas and emerging energy infrastructure as well as new technologies that help our customers achieve their decarbonization goals,” he said. said in a statement. “The creation of this fund, in collaboration with like-minded peers, the George Kaiser Family Foundation and EIC, is a catalyst to accelerate innovations that will allow our country to continue to meet the growing demands of society. into clean energy.”
The initiative was conceived by TIL, an organization founded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to build a technology hub in Tulsa. TIL has identified the opportunity for the region to meet the country’s energy needs over the coming years by investing in a diverse range of emerging energy technologies.
“Tulsa has a unique opportunity to leverage its energy assets and position itself as a hub for energy technology research and commercialization,” Nicholas Lalla, chief executive of Tulsa Innovation Labs, said in a statement. “By diversifying investments in the industry, we can diversify and sustain employment opportunities in the energy sector in Tulsa.”