Last week, we hosted the finale of Hacking for Energy in the beautiful 10th Floor Lounge of Riverside Church. This event was the culmination of this year’s Hacking for Energy class, where graduate students from Columbia, NYU, and CUNY spent 14 weeks developing solutions to real energy and sustainability challenges from large organizations. Each week the student gave updates on their development in class to a set of eight instructors experienced with the Lean Launchpad methodology. They also received regular guidance from their team mentor as well as their Industry Host. The five student teams combined completed 435 interviews in the 14 weeks, and at least one team plans to work toward converting their project into a startup after class.
It takes a lot of resilience and grit to be able to succeed in a class like Hacking for Energy, but all of the teams persevered. Julia and Rebecca reiterated how proud the whole teaching team was of all of the teams and were excited to share the final results with the audience. They also thanked the Industry Hosts, mentors, and other teaching team members, as the teams would not have come so far if it were not for their support and guidance.
Then we dove right into the presentations. Each team was given 15 minutes to present their findings to the audience and the eight members of the teaching team. After each presentation, the teaching team asked questions and gave comments to the students on both the presentation and their work in the course. Below is a brief overview of each project.
Industry Host: The New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Total Number of Interviews: 110
Challenge: Develop a building or district scale cost‐saving water reuse system that meets the requirements of the On‐site Water Reuse Grant Pilot Program to help the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) meet its water demand reduction targets outlined in the Water Demand Management Plan.
Proposed Solution: A water usage tracking service that will help managers and residents save money by saving water
Industry Host: Environmental Protection Agency
Total Number of Interviews: 122
Challenge: Devise a new system or service for transporting around people and/or goods in low‐density cities where public transportation options are limited in order to be more efficient and cost‐effective while also reducing emissions of GHGs and other pollutants.
Proposed Solution: An app that predicts demand for ride-hailing services as a way of reducing the idling time of drivers and encouraging the use of electric vehicles for ride sharing services.
Industry Host: Electric Power Research Institute
Total Number of Interviews: 93
Challenge: There are several issues impacting electric vehicle (EV) adoption, including but not limited to Battery Pack Maintenance and Replacement Costs (i.e. ~$5000 to replace pack). What are the opportunities to alleviate consumer/EV owner anxieties, and identify/capture revenue opportunities both the EV’s life?
Proposed Solution: A web app that will provide fleet owners with a custom comparison of the cost-savings, environmental benefits, and mileage range of electric vehicles (EVs) to better make purchasing decisions.
Industry Host: New York Integrated System Operator
Total Number of Interviews: 100
Challenge: Develop a cheap, accurate, and robust method of transmitting Distributed Energy Resource/Demand Response energy meter data to the grid operators so that they can ensure the reliability of the grid.
Proposed Solution: A service to enable large scale participation of residential and small business owners in the Distributed Energy Resources/Demand Response market allowing aggregators to access new revenue streams.
After the student presentations, we closed out the event and the students networked with the attendees from the energy industry. Head here check out photos of the event.
We are so happy to have had another successful year of Hacking for Energy, and would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank all the individuals who played a role helping us with the course this year.
Hacking for Energy will be taking a break, but will be back in the summer to start planning Spring 2019. To stay update and learn how get involved, sign up for our mailing list.