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Demo Day Recap: The IgniteX Class of 2019

Demo Day Recap: The IgniteX Class of 2019

“We have a lot to build.”

That was the recurring theme at the first Black & Veatch Ignitex Demo Day. Held on November 13, 2019, at the Gallery Event Space in downtown Kansas City, the event was the culmination of the 12-week cleantech accelerator program conducted by Black & Veatch and supported by LaunchKC

At the event, the 7 startups enrolled in the program presented 8-minute pitches that spanned each company’s value proposition, its market opportunity, its Black & Veatch partnership and the change it wants to bring bring to the world. 

That future world -- aka #theworldwewant -- “is not a place we’ll recognize when we get there,” director Hyleme George said in the night’s opening video. “It’s a journey that we’re embarking on together.” 

Each of the startups presented ideas for bringing about a better world through technologies aligned with Black & Veatch’s mission of Building a World of Difference through innovation in sustainable infrastructure.

As the presentations unfolded, it became clear that while we do, indeed, have a lot to build, we’ve done a lot of great work so far.  

Some examples of cleantech progress from the evening:

  • Fleet electrification for cutting down carbon emissions (Electriphi)

  • Autonomous construction equipment for worker safety and faster builds (Built Robotics)

  • AI data analytics for sustainable infrastructure improvement (InfraLytiks)

  • Environmental remediation in waterways (ecoSPEARS)

  • Smart drones for precision agriculture and infrastructure maintenance (Aware Vehicles)

  • Converting CO2 emissions into protein-rich feed for aquaculture (Novonutrients)

  • Helping commercial building owners save money by going solar (Extensible Energy)

As the diverse crowd of 250 engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, students and professionals looked on, the founders presented not only compelling ideas but proof that they are gaining traction in the market.

Muffi Ghadiali, CEO of Electriphi

Muffi Ghadiali, CEO of Electriphi



Electriphi CEO Muffi Ghadiali took the opportunity during his pitch to announce a new product launch -- an online fleet electrification assessment tool co-developed by Black & Veatch.

PJ Piper, CEO of Aware Vehicles

PJ Piper, CEO of Aware Vehicles



Similarly, Aware Vehicles is already at work in the field. CEO P.J. Piper talked about piloting their autonomous self-charging drone technology at a Black & Veatch solar site in Arkansas.

All in all, it was an impressive night showcasing a highly motivated and seasoned group of cleantech pioneers. Check out the full event video below, and stay tuned for news about the 2020 program soon! 

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