Energy Takes On A New Look At SURGE Demo Day

SURGE Accelerator, a member of the exclusive TechStars Network, was able to find 10 entrepreneurial companies, move them into a location called Red House and get them motivated to solve big problems in the energy vertical and leverage their knowledge of current technology in cloud computing and big data.

Houston, Texas, the energy capital of the world, and home to more than 5,000 energy related firms, is where SURGE was born. Over the last 90 days, SURGE companies have focused on solving the world’s energy problems by using software to disrupt the energy business.

Alas, these energy startups were ready to present their companies this week to a dynamic crowd assembled at the House of Blues in downtown Houston. And the Space Cowboys from the Rackspace Startup Program were there to witness SURGE Demo Day.

“Some of these companies will change the energy technology landscape as we know it. We’re not sure which ones, but many of them are destined to be game changers,” said Blair Garrou of DFJ Mercury and a SURGE co-founder in his opening remarks. Kirk Coburn, co-founder of SURGE, followed with “radically disruptive ideas are why we launched SURGE. Entrepreneurs are the innovators and energy is our greatest challenge and our biggest opportunity.”

Here are the companies that were born out of the inaugural class at SURGE Accelerator in Houston, Texas:

ActualSun: Business information for the solar industry

Established: Houston, Texas/Portugal

A web-based, intelligent software platform where owners of multiple solar power plants can independently manage, compare and market their entire portfolio of assets, allowing for reduced operating costs, increased asset performance and improved decision making.

Advanced Seismic: The App Store for geophysical technology and cloud computing

Established: Houston, Texas

Connects people to geophysical technology, data and the cloud through its APP marketplace and OASIS Desktop platform. Customers can search, sample and evaluate technologies and only pay for the output results. Scientists can build Apps and get paid every time a company uses the technology.

drillMap: Google Maps for energy intelligence

Established: Austin, Texas

Offers online access to multiple datasets specific to the petroleum industry using a revolutionary visualization and report building application. drillMap allows customers to visualize all data, no matter the source, in seconds rather days; on any device; anywhere.

FuelMiner: Makes trucks intelligent

Established: Minneapolis, Minnesota

A turnkey hardware and cloud-based software solution for real-time optimization of vehicle fleets. Using FuelMiner, fleets can save up to $15,000 per truck per year in fuel costs and double their profits.

Lowfoot: for your electricity bill

Established: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Providing a free web-based analytics platform that allows consumers and small businesses to be rewarded for conserving energy through monitoring of smart meter data on a social media platform.

Molecule: Quickbooks for energy trading

Established: Houston, Texas

An easy-to-use, cloud-based trading system that includes deal capture, risk analytics and more. Molecule helps users, producers and marketers of energy commodities understand and manage their risk without the pain and expense of implementing a traditional ETRM system.

Pinnacle: RedHat for the SmartGrid

Established: The Woodlands, Texas/Boston, Massachusetts

This system allows utilities to maximize their investments in the SmartGrid. Pinnacle integrates back office applications with the new communications networks, data sources, business transactions and capabilities of new generation of SmartGrid devices without costly upgrades or customization.

Revokom: An opinionated communication platform for asset intensive industries

Established: Denver, Colorado/Chile

Puts the asset at the center of the discussion. Users don´t talk about the asset, they talk to the asset. Developed for asset intensive industries such as oil and gas and mining, Revokom allows relevant team members and service providers to share asset activity information in near real-time in a secure fashion.

Snugg Home: meets Lending Tree for energy efficiency contractors

Established: Boulder, Colorado

Providing intuitive, easy to use SaaS tools that allow residential contractors to offer homeowners energy efficiency upgrades. Homeowners can enjoy increased comfort and 20 percent to 75 percent energy savings.

Tune Energy: Concierge service for retail electricity

Established: Palo Alto, California

Offers homeowners a subscription concierge service that bundles wholesale-priced electricity.

Congratulations to the SURGE inaugural class of 2012! These companies are now part of the prestigious TechStars family and ready to take on the energy vertical. And the Rackspace Startup Program was there to help the companies build their businesses on a world-class cloud computing platform. Drop the Space Cowboys a note and let us know if you need any help facilitating the dream of your startup from ideation to implementation!

John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


  1. John – Thanks to you, Jeff Lamboy and the entire Rackspace team for being great sponsors and partners of SURGE Accelerator. We appreciate the support and the great write-up of SURGE’s class of 2012!

  2. Blair…it was our pleasure to work with SURGE. You assembled 10 fantastic companies working in the energy verticle. Demo Day was a homerun! Congratulations to the SURGE team and all of the hard work you put into the program. Looking forward to 2013!

  3. At SURGE, we consider ourselves rackers too. The spirit of the Rackspace culture, being fanatical about your customers, transcends into your partners and your team. We appreciate your support of SURGE and fanatical interest in our entrepreneurs. Thank you Space Cowboys!


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