start up

Mercom Capital Group (Mercom), a global clean energy research and communications firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, announced that solar software developer SmartHelio has been named Start-Up of the Year at the 2023 RE+ Start-Up Live Competition. The company also received a marketing and communications package from Mercom valued at $10,000.

There were 70 start-ups that participated at RE+ in 2023. SmartHelio was among 10 finalists to showcase their technologies to a live panel of judges that included:

  • Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group
  • Stephanie Annerose, Director, energy & power at investment banking,  Piper Sandler & Co.
  • Mike Reynolds, Managing Director at investment firm Ultra Capital

“We had a diverse group of participants, but what separated SmartHelio was that they identified a particular pain point, created a much-needed solution, paired their solution with advanced tech like AI, and demonstrated that their solution can help those in the market,” Annerose said. “This solution is addressing a problem that many solar farms are facing. Having an effective platform to see the issues with a given asset is important.”

SmartHelio is the developer of analytics tools that detect faults in underperforming solar assets and promises to deliver significant performance improvement to solar assets.

“All of the companies pitching in this competition were strong contenders, making it even more exciting for SmartHelio to be singled out as Start-Up of the Year,” said SmartHelio Founder and CEO Govinda Upadhyay. “The exposure we’ll get from Mercom’s services will increase our visibility among customers and investors as we expand in the U.S.”

“The RE+ Start-Up Live Competition is always among the more highly anticipated parts of the conference, but it was especially relevant this year because of the opportunity to get in front of investors and companies who are looking for ways to leverage the dollars going into cleantech through the IRA,” Prabhu said. “SmartHelio and the other finalists clearly demonstrated a growing number of technology solutions that are being developed to solve the problems facing the advancement of clean energy.”

“There were a lot of compelling pitches, and these companies are solving big challenges. This is what the energy transition needs,” Reynolds said. “Kudos to all of the companies for the work they’re putting in. It’s encouraging to see these innovators at work.”

The complete list of competition finalists includes:

With 40,000 attendees and 85+ media outlets at RE+, the Start-Up Live Competition is a key event for start-ups with innovative products and solutions within the clean energy industry to network, find new customers and investors, gain media attention, and add thought leaders and leading companies to their network.

“Congratulations to SmartHelio on its win and to all of the worthy participants from this year’s start-up competition,” RE+ Events Partnerships and Business Development Director Lesley Fondren said. “The event drew a great crowd and we’re thankful to Mercom for organizing and putting this event together. Mercom’s expertise in clean energy makes them a great partner because they have a firm grasp on the direction and trends within the industry, giving them the ability to position companies at the forefront of the clean energy sector.”