Sterblue selected among 7 other energy startups to collaborate with the largest US utility companies through IlluminationLAB.
The drone software startup Sterblue receives a first class mentorship from IlluminationLAB. Initiated by American Electric Power (AEP) and Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), Sterblue is excited to join in a ten-week program in Ohio.
Selected from 112 energy startups applying, Sterblue aims for a special mission: To enable smarter drone inspections for power lines and wind turbines. IlluminationLAB supports startups in the energy sector to test their technologies in fields like customer experience and operations. From June to September, Sterblue will now prove its concepts for deployment readiness next to six further selected companies.
There are 65 millions kilometres of power grids around the world. The USA alone lists about 4 millions kilometres (2,5 millions miles) of transmission and distribution lines — which covers more than ten times of the way to the moon. Unchecked power lines pose dangers for people and the planet and therefore require regular inspections. Currently, most inspections take place manually by operators from the ground level. As this can be time-consuming, expensive, and dangerous, it represents a huge opportunity for automatic inspections carried out by drones.
Daniel Saunders, chief executive at L Marks, a London-based company that specializes in applied corporate innovation and an early stage investor, sees the big value in IlluminationLAB:
“Expanding the IlluminationLAB recognizes that innovation can enhance startups’ prospects for piloting and launching their technologies — and capitalizing on more growth opportunities through this work with participating utilities.”
Also for Geoffrey Vancassel, Sterblue CEO, the IlluminationLAB opens up great chances:
“This is an amazing opportunity for us to demonstrate our technology on the US soil with the most innovative utility companies. The upcoming interactions will definitely bring Sterblue to the next level!”
Sterblue is now looking forward to working with AEP, EPRI and other collaborating utilities. By having direct access to expertise, this will be another chance in accelerating and shaping the company’s mission.