Welcome to 2018! For us, the start of the new year means another semester of teaching Hacking for Energy to grad students in New York City. This year, we have 6 teams participating in the class, four from Columbia University, one from NYU, and our first team ever from CUNY, coming out of City College. Much like last year, in order to apply for the class, these students were required to independently form 4-person teams and propose solutions to the problem statements supplied by our Industry Hosts. These 6 student teams will now have 14 weeks to evolve and build their technical solution through customer discovery. They will be required to interview 100 customers, modify their business idea and potential solution based on what they learn from those interviews.
To help them on their journey, the teams will present their progress every week to our panel of instructors for advice and feedback. This panel of instructors, known as the teaching team, is comprised of two roles: the core faculty, and entrepreneur instructors. The core faculty are the official instructors of the course. They teach weekly lectures on topics related to entrepreneurship, critique the students on their customer discovery progress in class and during office hours, and guide the entrepreneur instructors as they provide feedback during the course. This year, Julia Byrd returns as a member of the core faculty. She is joined by Rebecca Silver, the Assistant Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute.
The Core Faculty:
The entrepreneurship instructors have a wide variety of backgrounds including experience teaching entrepreneurship, startup creation, and investing. They also provide feedback to the students, both during the weekly lectures and in regular office hours.
The Entrepreneurship Instructors:
We are also providing each team a mentor. The mentors, who all work in energy, sustainability, and innovation, will touch base with the students on a weekly basis to provide advice, guidance, and even some connections to interview subjects!
Student Team Mentors
Given the size of the class, Hacking for Energy has a high resource to student ratio with 6 entrepreneurship instructors, 6 mentors, and 6 Industry Hosts for the participating teams.
Here are the first week of presentations:
Team Aquathots from Columbia is aiding NYC's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to design an on-site water reuse system for large buildings.
Team DemoDogs from Columbia is working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come up with new transportation options for low-density cities in order to reduce GHG emissions.
Team Fresh Minds from NYU is working with Bright Power on developing a solution to better organize energy data.
Team PowerTab from Columbia helping the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) think of different battery revenue models for electric vehicles.
Team Residential Potential from City College is working with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) to build a cost-effective, accurate, and simple energy meter transmission for distributed energy resources.
Team Solar Ledger from Columbia is doing our first "Propose Your Own" project, with EPRI as the Industry Host. This team proposed building a grid security system using blockchain.
How to follow along:
This year, our team will not be live blogging every week, as last year's blog provides a great overview of how the Hacking for Energy class operates. We may post periodic updates to this blog, so definitely subscribe to get it sent to your inbox every time there is an update.
If you want to follow along with the Class progress, there are a couple of ways to do it.
Follow the Hashtag: We will also be posting period updates to the PowerBridgeNY twitter feed using the #Hacking4Energy hashtag, You can check out the updates here.
Sit in on a class: If you are a member of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we welcome to observe the class at our space at Columbia University. Reach out to info[at]powerbridgeny[dot]com if you are interested in stopping by!
Attend the final presentations in late April/early May: The final presentation event is a great opportunity to see how all of the teams evolved throughout the semester and what they developed as their final Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We will send more details about this event as the semester goes along.
We look forward to another great year of Hacking for Energy!