The clear winner at the FLoW Western Region cleantech business plan competition at the California Institute of Technology on May 6, 2015 was a startup led by Stanford students developing a novel energy storage system for refrigerating food that translates into cheaper, safer food for all of us. At FLoW’s fourth annual competition, Axiom Exergy surpassed 15 finalists as the judges acknowledged the company had a solution for a major problem that could underpin an exciting business opportunity.

Supermarkets are scrambling to maintain their razor-thin profit margins and energy is a major cost category (supermarkets use 3x more energy/ft2 than typical retail stores). Axiom Energy calculates that a $20,000 in utility savings has the same effect on store profits as $1.4 million in additional sales. Axiom’s Refrigeration Battery™ is a retrofit to central refrigeration systems which will save supermarkets as much as 20% a year in electricity costs and unknown dollars in food spoilage. The Battery converts central refrigeration systems into intelligent, grid-connected energy storage assets, helping supermarkets and refrigerated facilities increase their razor-thin profit margins by shifting electricity consumption away from on-peak hours when electricity prices skyrocket, and reducing the risk of food spoilage during power outages.  Axiom Exergy is installing its first full-scale system at a supermarket in the Bay Area this year, and it has over $1 million in sales pipeline with a leading national supermarket chain.

FLoW is the western part of the Department of Energy’s National Cleantech Business Plan Competition for university students and is overseen by the Resnick Sustainability Institute of Caltech. To date, FLoW has helped launch over 20 companies that has raised more than $35 million in follow on funding. For more information about FLoW or Axiom Exergy contact the FLoW Office 626-395-1968 or stephanie.yanchinski@caltech.edu.