VIA Selected as a Finalist for EPRI’s Incubatenergy Labs Challenge

VIA is pleased to share that we have been selected as one of 17 companies, out of over 130 applicants, for the next round of EPRI’s Incubatenergy Labs Challenge. As part of being a finalist in the program, VIA will participate in Challenge Pitch Day in the beginning of April.

Incubatenergy Labs was created to connect innovative startups in the energy space with major utilities for demonstration projects. Erik Steeb, who leads the Incubatenergy Labs program at EPRI said of the selected group of startups:

“The finalists’ applications outline technologies that may provide electric power customers effective energy management solutions and utilities new tools to maintain system quality, reliability, and efficiency while supporting sector-wide decarbonization.”

For more information, see EPRI’s recent announcement.

 

VIA Files Over 10 Patents for Trusted Analytics Chain™

VIA, a leader in providing energy analytics while maintaining data privacy and security, is pleased to share that it has filed over 10 patents to protect techniques used in its Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) software. The patents cover a range of capabilities from homomorphic encryption, streamlining data access provisionment, and distributed computing approaches, among others.

At VIA, we have delivered AI and machine learning solutions to governments, regulators, and utilities at a global scale. A constant theme has been data privacy and security. We have made data privacy a priority for TAC™ to give our customers confidence that their data assets are secure during analysis. The patent portfolio is VIA’s best way to protect the investment we have made in pioneering these techniques,” said Jeremy Taylor, Chief Scientific Officer at VIA.

VIA has built a team of experts in AI, blockchain, and cryptography to develop a suite of privacy tools to validate and sanitize queries (python scripts) submitted by analysts as well as responses that are the result of running the script on the data.

Taylor continued, “TAC™ is being used by some of the largest utilities in the world to unlock powerful insights from their data. We believe that TAC™ will become the go-to data sharing platform among utilities and beyond.”

About VIA

VIA helps governments, regulators, and power companies deliver $200Bn in energy every year to more than 100 million customers. VIA’s privacy-preserving analytics software, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) reduces the cost and improves the quality of service of electricity transmission and distribution using AI and blockchain technologies. TAC™ (patents pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. VIA established the Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™), built on top of TAC™, to allow multiple companies to securely pool data for more accurate analytics. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

VIA Participates in NPPD’s Annual Innovation Showcase

VIA was delighted to support Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) specifically and innovation in Nebraska more generally this past weekend. VIA’s CEO, Colin Gounden traveled to Aurora, Nebraska for the Aurora Open & Innovation Showcase to meet with hundreds of students and local community members to give them a glimpse into working for a technology startup. During the event, there was also a robotics competition, as seen in this local news clip, where the VIA sticker made its TV debut!

 

VIA Awarded Funding by MassCEC

VIA is pleased to share that we have been awarded funding through MassCEC’s InnovateMass program for a behind the meter energy storage project. Governor Charlie Baker discusses the importance of supporting the 18 startups awarded:

“Providing strategic support to entrepreneurs and startup companies is critical to helping Massachusetts maintain its position as the national leader in cleantech innovation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These early-stage companies provide a vital source of job creation and economic value while helping the Commonwealth meet the challenges posed by climate change, and we are committed to helping support the growth of the vibrant startup community.”

For the formal press release titled “Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.7 Million in Funding for Clean Energy Startups” visit MassCEC’s website.

 

Andrew Bright Joins VIA Advisory Board

VIA, a leader in providing energy analytics while maintaining data privacy and security, is pleased to announce that Andrew Bright has joined its advisory board. Andrew brings nearly 25 years of experience in the sustainable energy and transportation sectors to VIA and will play a significant role in helping the company mature into a power industry leader.

“Deep power industry expertise is a requirement to build AI and blockchain solutions that work at scale across the industry. For nearly twelve years, Andrew played a key role at ABB Power Grids including a senior role in the $11Bn sale to Hitachi. He understands the stress EVs, renewables, and extreme weather can have on the grid and its equipment,” said Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA. He continued, “We’re pleased to have Andrew Bright join our team and lend his industry and commercial expertise to help take VIA’s solutions to the next level for our utility customers.”

Prior to ABB, Andrew was a principal consultant for seven years in high-tech industries and worked in strategy development, technology and startup scouting, and digital transformation. “VIA is on the verge of changing the way the power industry tackles asset management and operations, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” said Andrew Bright. “Based in Menlo Park, I see 10 to 50 innovative companies and disruptive technologies every week. VIA stands apart as a company that is using advanced technology to deliver unique benefits to customers. They are on track to become a leading industrial and utility technology giant.”

VIA is expanding its GDAC™ program into new problems areas, and as the company continues to take a leadership position in the power industry, it will recruit more industry experts to become part of the VIA community.

About VIA

VIA helps governments, regulators, and power companies deliver $200Bn in energy every year to more than 100 million customers. VIA’s privacy-preserving analytics software, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) reduces the cost and improves the quality of service of electricity transmission and distribution using AI and blockchain technologies. TAC™ (patents pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. VIA established the Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™), built on top of TAC™, to allow multiple companies to securely pool data for more accurate analytics. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

VIA Earns Spot on the 2020 Global Cleantech 100

VIA, a leader in providing energy analytics while maintaining data privacy and security, was named a 2020 Global Cleantech 100 company by Cleantech Group.

The 2020 Global Cleantech 100 is the 11th edition of the respected annual guide to the leading companies and themes in sustainable innovation. It features the private, independent, and for-profit companies best positioned to contribute to a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient industrial future.

An excerpt about VIA from the report:

Keep an eye on
Companies that enable the sharing of valuable data between companies facing similar challenges are growing in importance. Via Science (VIA), a newcomer to the list, is using a combination of AI and blockchain to clean datasets from large energy players and share them anonymously with peers to accelerate problem-solving in this space.

The list combines Cleantech Group’s research data with qualitative judgements from nominations and insight from a global 80-member expert panel of leading investors and executives from corporations and industrials active in technology and innovation scouting. From pioneers and veterans to new entrants, the expert panel broadly represents the global cleantech community and results in a list with a powerful base of respect and support from many important players within the cleantech innovation ecosystem. The Global Cleantech 100 program is sponsored by Chubb.

“It feels right that our first list of the future-defining 2020s, should see a continued strengthening in the representation of truly impactful and necessary innovations to transform our diets, to enable a more renewable-heavy energy system, and to capture and utilize the vast levels of CO2 we have been freely emitting for decades,” said Richard Youngman, CEO, Cleantech Group. “Also included in our 2020 list are some big and critical shots at solving global problems – from proving out fusion and next-gen batteries to zero carbon aviation.”

About Cleantech Group

Cleantech® Group provides research, consulting and events to catalyze opportunities for sustainable growth powered by innovation. At every stage from initial strategy to final deals, we bring corporate change makers, investors, governments and stakeholders from across the ecosystem the access and customized support they need to thrive in a more digitized, de-carbonized and resource-efficient future.

The company was established in 2002 and is headquartered in San Francisco with a growing international presence in London. Our parent company, Enovation Partners, is based in Chicago.

Media Contact:
Laura Dolby
Cleantech Group
Email: laura.dolby@cleantech.com

About VIA

VIA helps governments, regulators, and power companies deliver $200Bn in energy every year to more than 100 million customers. VIA’s privacy-preserving analytics software, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) reduces the cost and improves the quality of service of electricity transmission and distribution using AI and blockchain technologies. TAC™ (patents pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. VIA established the Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™), built on top of TAC™, to allow multiple companies to securely pool data for more accurate analytics. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

VIA Included in Tracxn’s “Top Emerging Blockchain Startups” List

Tracxn, a market research platform that tracks startups, private companies, and innovative sectors, has included VIA in its coveted list of “Top Emerging Blockchain Startups.” 

VIA is proud to be featured as a “Minicorn” on the list, as Tracxn explains:

“The Minicorns – are the high growth early stage ventures (Series A+). Watch out for these companies as they take the business to the next level, by scaling up for the accelerated growth.

For the full list, visit the Tracxn website.

 

GDAC™ Ability to Increase ROI for Utilities Featured in T&D World

The article published by T&D World “Global Data Asset Collaborative to Increase ROI for Utilities” discusses changes to the energy landscape and how “many utilities recognize that the challenge of maintaining grid reliability is now greater than any single company is able to solve on its own.”

VIA’s Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™) was established in early 2019 to allow multiple companies to securely pool data for more accurate analytics. The benefits of GDAC™ are featured in the article:

Both utilities and regulators benefit from GDAC™. For utilities, what VIA has found is that by protecting the data of each company, the data issues become easier and the focus of analytics efforts returns to the analysis (not restrictions to sharing the data). The impact on members who take this collaborative approach is that they end up with greatly improved analytics. For example, members get benchmarks of their equipment condition and maintenance routines in a more real-time and customized manner. They also get the benefit of learning from issues that others have had rather than just issues that they have seen — this leads to earlier warnings about equipment. And finally, as an economic impact, GDAC™ members have been seeing fewer corrective maintenance callouts, better planning for spares and inventory, and faster and simpler preparation for rate cases.

For the full article, visit the T&D World website.

 

Value of AI for GDAC™ Utility Members Mentioned in Utility Dive

VIA’s Colin Gounden was interviewed, among a number of analytics and utilities experts, for the Utility Dive article “In the ‘cat and mouse game’ of utility cyberattacks, AI and machine learning show promise, limits.” 

The article talks about ways AI and machine learning can help protect utilities and its customers from cyber attacks, while also using data to improve service to customers. Colin talks about how GDAC™ utility members are seeing value in AI:

“This is a whole new game for utilities,” Colin Gounden, CEO of data specialist VIA agreed. “They are increasingly interested in how AI algorithms and deep learning can automate the protection of customer information, the optimization and balancing of the grid, and the finding of efficiencies in the details of customer usage,” he told Utility Dive. “But AI requires access, particularly to data.”

Both [AI and ML] require an enormous amount of data, but it can be protected the same way email is scanned for spam by an AI algorithm “because it is too big a dataset for a person,” Gounden said.

For more quotes from Colin and the full article, visit the Utility Dive website.

 

Colin Gounden Participates in NECEC Navigate Webinar Series

VIA was proud to be invited to participate in the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) Navigate Webinar Series, “Connecting the Dots Between Investors and Corporate Strategics.”

Colin Gounden sat on the panel along with Anna Jarman of Walmart, Ely Greenberg of Greenbacker Labs and moderators, Daniel Hullah of GE Ventures and Catarina Madeira of NECEC to discuss how innovative companies and established energy companies can learn from each other to improve energy efficiency.

For the webinar recording, check out NECEC’s YouTube page.

 

Disruptor Daily Interview’s Colin Gounden for Blockchain in Energy Series

Colin Gounden sat down with Emilia Picco of Disruptor Daily, a publication that delivers the latest trends in blockchain, to talk about how VIA uses blockchain technology to help transform the energy sector.

At the start of the interview, Colin explained the reason VIA developed its blockchain application, TAC™, and its best use case:

“Some companies had too little data, some didn’t have clean data, some had a lot of data but not in any single location, and some were unable to share it due to security concerns. That’s when we had the idea to develop our blockchain application, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™)…

…In recent months, we’ve taken our efforts with TAC™ a step further and built the foundation for the Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™). GDAC™ is the first privacy preserving, multi-company database for machine learning-ready transformer data, which has been created on top of our TAC™ software. As an analogy, GDAC™: Transformers is like an app on our “TAC™ app store”.

At the end of the interview, Colin talks about where he sees VIA in the next five years:

“We see VIA’s Trusted Analytics Chain™ as the go-to solution for both utilities / network operators and AI analysts alike. For utilities, they can become part of GDAC™ (which uses TAC™ as the underlying software) to have their data analyzed to get more accurate predictions about their equipment. For analysts, since it’s hard to access robust data like that of utilities, TAC™ will be the go-to software to solve high value, super interesting problems like those related to grid resiliency.”

For the full interview, check out Disruptor Daily’s website.

 

VIA Highlighted in “The Rise of Privacy Preserving AI”

VIA was recently featured in a second Axios article titled “The Rise of Privacy Preserving AI”. The article discusses how new AI methods, such as federated learning, allow companies to benefit from collective data analytics, without having to reveal sensitive data.

In energy, predicting the next catastrophic power equipment failure requires data on previous problems. Because these events are rare, companies need to team up to share their data for collective analytics. VIA launched the Global Data Asset Collaborative (GDAC™): Transformers, where power companies are able to share data while still preserving privacy (through federated learning), with the goal of improving decision making related to operations, maintenance, and replacement of transformers.

To read the full article, visit Axios’ website.

The Westly Group Leads $7M Investment in VIA

VIA, a leader in using artificial intelligence and blockchain to provide security and data analytic solutions for the energy and utility industry, announced that the Westly Group is leading a $7M seed investment in Via Science, Inc. (VIA). The funding will accelerate VIA’s customer acquisition and increase the number of network operators in its Global Data Asset Collaborative™ (GDAC™) program. GDAC™ is the power industry’s first predictive maintenance application combined with a multi-company, privacy protected, distributed database of equipment data.

“The Westly Group has met with over a hundred AI and blockchain companies, and we believe that VIA is the clear leader in the energy sector. VIA has a groundbreaking business model and a unique approach to collaborative analytics. This combination is exactly what the power industry is waiting for,” said Steve Westly, founder and managing partner of the Westly Group.

“Our team at VIA is very excited to have selected the Westly Group as partners. What impressed us most about the Westly Group is the breadth and depth of the relationships they have in the power sector. Their LP base of major global utilities is unparalleled. Membership in our GDAC™ program is already growing. With the support of the Westly Group, adoption by network operators will only increase,” said Colin Gounden, CEO of VIA.

About VIA

VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. The company works with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC™ (patents pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

About The Westly Group

The Westly Group has successfully raised three venture funds that invest in rapidly growing software, IoT and Big Data companies in the smart energy, mobility and building sectors.  The Westly Group has 12 of the world’s larger energy and auto companies as investors and has had four companies go public on NASDAQ including Tesla Motors.

Hawaiian Electric Joins as Second Founding Member of GDAC™, Alongside Vector

VIA and Hawaiian Electric are pleased to share that Hawaiian Electric has joined GDAC™ alongside Vector, as the second founding member. By joining in the collaborative (which is in partnership with Elemental Excelerator) and focusing on substation transformers, Hawaiian Electric hopes to improve decision making related to operations, maintenance, and replacement of their substation transformers. In particular, its goal is to reduce unexpected issues or failures, determine the right spare equipment inventory levels, and reduce the frequency of corrective maintenance.

“Like most electric utilities, Hawaiian Electric does its best to maximize use of grid infrastructure, some of which are nearing the end of their practical use,” said Rick Pinkerton, Director, Asset Management at Hawaiian Electric. “As we modernize our grid, we’re always looking for ways to improve our decision making. We joined GDAC™ to learn from other members and from VIA’s expertise in AI and machine learning, to improve our capabilities to prudently manage the performance, risk, and cost of our fleet of substation transformers, and other T&D assets in general.”

During the inaugural GDAC™ workshop, Hawaiian Electric and fellow GDAC™ member, Vector, shared and discussed their current substation transformer fleet management practices, plans, and challenges, as well as specific GDAC™ efforts and outcomes that would provide the most value to each member.

“We’re thrilled to have Hawaiian Electric join the GDAC™ community. Hawaiian Electric has been referred to in the industry as a “postcard from the future” due to their high levels of distributed solar penetration, progress towards transforming their grid to provide 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, and experience dealing with a host of unprecedented challenges that many in the industry will not face for several years,” said Kate Ravanis, Chief Operating Officer at VIA. “Their position as an innovative leader in the industry and the contributions they made at the GDAC™ workshop were invaluable to other members and the overall project outcome.”

Hawaiian Electric will be contributing multiple years of operational, test, maintenance, and failure data from more than 300 substation transformers alongside similar data for Vector’s 200-plus substation transformers. The company is excited about joining the GDAC™ community and may have an interest in joining other GDAC™ initiatives, in addition to substation transformers.

About VIA

VIA helps energy companies across the globe realize the value of their data through AI and blockchain. The company works with the world’s largest utilities and government agencies on AI initiatives like predictive maintenance and contingency planning. VIA has developed a blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™) to help energy companies reduce the burden of preparing and sharing their data. TAC™ (patents pending) is the bridge that securely connects power company data, distributed across many locations, to potential AI solutions. Headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, VIA has been featured in Wired and Inc. Magazine for its leadership in technology innovation. For more information, please visit www.solvewithvia.com.

About Hawaiian Electric

The Hawaiian Electric Companies (Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, and Hawaiʽi Electric Light Company) serve 95 percent of Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents on the islands of Oʽahu, Maui, Hawaiʽi Island, Lānaʽi and Molokaʽi and have a goal of 100 percent renewables by 2045.

GreenBiz Features VIA in Article About Startups at the Plug and Play Spring Summit

Earlier this month, VIA’s Colin Gounden gave a presentation at Plug and Play’s Spring Summit 2019. Senior writer and analyst at GreenBiz, Katie Fehrenbacher, was in attendance and featured VIA in an article titled “Here’s Why Energy Companies Are Adopting AI”.  

The article describes common problems that major energy companies face, such as the need for better quality data to run their businesses more efficiently, and how extreme weather is putting pressure on their infrastructure. Startups, like VIA, are using AI and machine learning to solve for these issues and help energy asset managers make smarter decisions to reduce cost and risk to their equipment. VIA was mentioned as a solution to help utilities better predict when transformers might be at risk in a disaster through the use of its blockchain-based application, Trusted Analytics Chain™ (TAC™).

In March, VIA was selected for the Spring 2019 cohort of Plug and Play’s Energy and Sustainability accelerator program.

To read the full article, check out the Greenbiz website.

Colin Gounden presenting at Plug and Play Spring Summit 2019

Image courtesy of Plug and Play