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Stanford-Born Energy Business Wins Global Competition

Ugwem Eneyo
Ugwem Eneyo of Solstice Energy Solutions pitches her startup at the Women Startup Challenge Emerging Tech in March 2018.
Kristin Johnson, Women Who Tech / Flickr
Sep 24, 2018

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An idea hatched by two Stanford graduate students in an engineering and entrepreneurship class won a global competition for climate change-focused business plans, technologies and platforms recently. Solstice Energy Solutions, founded by Ugwem Eneyo (MS ’17) and Cole Stites-Clayton (’14, MS ’15), earned top honors and $25,000 in the California Climate Cup. Eneyo accepted the prize at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

Solstice uses big data to analyze energy use, coordinating different energy sources like solar and energy storage. The company’s initial focus is on developing world cities where unreliable grids leave many residents dependent on diesel generators. Using a remote energy management platform called Shyft, Solstice allows homes and businesses to monitor, manage and control a range of energy resources such as utility, solar batteries and generators. The system is geared toward driving savings, reducing emissions and increasing reliability.

“Think of it as a Fitbit for energy consumption,” Eneyo said in a 2017 interview. “Except unlike Fitbit, which can’t actually make you work out, our ability to pivot between power sources helps users to not only see their activity, but also results.”

So far, Shyft is available in Lagos, Nigeria. There, millions of people rely on generators that are costly to operate and threaten communities’ health. Solstice’s solution holds the potential to drive broader adoption of cleaner and more dependable energy systems in which individual homes and businesses generate their own power.

Solstice received initial funding from the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy through its Innovation Transfer grant program.

Forbes magazine recently named the company among “60 Women-Led Startups That Are Shaking Up Tech Across The Globe.”

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