Indio-based Startup Helicoid Industries Wins NREL CleanTech Award

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Jul 2, 2022


At the 2022 NREL Industry Growth Forum (IGF) on April 13–14, 2022, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy presented honors to five leading cleantech companies. Indio (Riverside County) startup Helicoid Industries from California was one of the five awardees. 

CleanTech Awards of The Year 2022

After two years of entirely virtual meetings, this IGF, now in its 27th year, switched to an in-person format. It was an inspirational example of how embracing collaborations and innovation can impact the future of sustainable energy.

Forty startups competed in a pitch competition in front of an investor-dominated panel of judges, and the winners emerged at the top. These innovators were chosen by the IGF earlier in 2022 from a pool of 157 candidates.

“Bringing economically viable cleantech solutions to market is a contact sport. Watching all the investors and startup companies make those needed connections again in person was incredible. Our theme of ‘Better Together’ was really realized in this event. We need each other to foster business success and push the boundaries of technology.”

NREL Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Director Trish Cozart

The Industry Growth Forum is the leading cleantech event that connects business owners, investors, and industry professionals. They may establish new connections, showcase cutting-edge technology, and figure out how to commercialize cleantech during the event. In addition to the cleantech innovation pitch competition, the IGF featured over 1,000 extra ad hoc meetings and 1,200 one-on-one interactions with companies and investors.

“This year was all we hoped it would be and more. We had nearly 550 attendees from all over the world. These folks are tackling the dangers created by climate change head-on, and the solutions they come up with will help the entire planet.”

Said IGF Project Manager Sheila Ebbitt.

Note: Startempire Wire reported about a new project that will bring Fibre Optic-based high-speed internet throughout Riverside County. You can read about the project details in the article below.

Awardees of 2022 Industry Growth Forum Awards

The winners of this year are as under:

  • Outstanding Venture—Early Stage
  1. Helicoid Industries, Indio, California

Helicoid, a company founded in 2019, aims to market its biomimetic fiber-reinforced composite technology. Both perform Helicoid Industries to composites manufacturers license solutions and technology. The helicoid technique offers impact resistance and weight savings by replicating one of the world’s strongest structures, the mantis shrimp.

  • Outstanding Venture—Commercialization Stage
  1. Syzygy Plasmonics, Houston, Texas

To electrify chemical synthesis, Syzygy Plasmonics is creating a first-of-its-kind photocatalytic reactor. This platform technology offers efficient emissions reduction for “hard-to-abate” industrial sectors fueled by renewable electricity. The go-to-market product from Syzygy is a photocatalytic reactor platform that will concentrate on producing cheap, clean hydrogen.

  • Outstanding Venture—Growth Stage
  1. Biosynthetic Technologies, Indianapolis, Indiana

Instead of petroleum, Biosynthetic Technologies offers a range of bio-based (oleo) fluids. These are now employed for various purposes, including industrial lubrication, metalworking, cosmetics, hair care, and medical research.

  • Outstanding Venture—Emerging Markets
  1. UCAP Power, San Diego, California

Ultracapacitor-based power solutions are offered by UCAP Power, a global supplier in many different areas. With the usage of ultracapacitor devices, lead-acid and other potentially dangerous elements in batteries may be replaced with a stable, dependable, high-power energy storage source.

Best Business Award

  1. South 8 Technologies, California’s San Diego

South 8 Technologies Inc. has created unique chemistry for electrochemical capacitors and next-generation lithium batteries. They have been given the best business award. With a more extensive operational temperature range of minus 80° to 60°C made possible by the technology, energy efficiency and safety are improved while remaining compatible with standard building materials.

“You never expect to win, you hope you do, but, wow. It’s big for us. It’s validation to our investors. It’s a huge compliment to Syzygy’s team and all the hard work we’ve done. This is the proof point we are on the right track to decarbonizing the future.”

Said Syzygy Plasmonics Co-Founder and CEO Trevor Best

Wrap Up

The challenge of reducing energy consumption to produce power and promoting clean energy development is daunting. The idea of harnessing wind energy has been around for a long time and is still being pursued today. But there are so many other areas where this technology can be applied. It may inspire others to continue innovating, maybe even in ways we haven’t yet imagined.


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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