Written By Matt Hamblen
Charger Help!, a reliability management company for EV charging stations, was named with 30 other startups and entrepreneurs to join the LG NOVA program among 2,170 submissions. CEO Kameal Terry founded the company with Evette Ellis three years ago. (Charger Help!)
2021 was a good year for startups, but startup funding fell 35% in 2022, reaching a total of $445 billion globally, according to a tally by Crunchbase.
Amid that massive drop, LG Electronics witnessed a pronounced increase in submissions from startup tech innovators to join the LG NOVA program in its second year. In 2022, the LG North American Innovation Center received 2,170 submissions, 800 more than in 2021.
“We started when venture investment was high and now it is down,” said Sokwoo Rhee, LG Electronics senior vice president of innovation and head of LG NOVA, in an interview with Fierce Electronics. “A lot of startups are looking for alternative sources and also real business opportunities. Last year was about raising money and now it’s about business opportunities.”
LG Is normally known as an appliance maker, so the LG NOVA idea is a new approach that Rhee calls “outside-in collaboration” where LG looks at thousands of smaller companies for innovations that LG might accelerate through collaboration and funding.
At CES 2023 in Las Vegas, LG NOVA identified 31 Mission for the Future 2022 companies and entrepreneurs in the categories of digital health, display, environmental-social-governance & electronic mobility, metaverse & gaming, smart lifestyles and open innovation. Some of companies were featured at a booth at Eureka Park at CES. “We’re looking forward to working with these companies to accelerate their ideas to the broader market,” Rhee said.
Charger Help!, based in Los Angeles, is a reliability management platform for EV charging stations, to give EV supply equipment (EVSE) providers reliable and dedicated maintenance and operations support. The three-year-old company lists Duke Energy and Shell Recharge among its customers on its web site. For a monthly fee, EVSEs get expert tech support and Charger Help! Offers customers data on charging station reliability and EVSE technician certification.
The company says it can provide 97% uptime with predictable operations and maintenance costs. It’s mission is to increase uptime of EV charging stations to ensure mass adoption. “I knew that mass EV adoption would never happen if we had a ton of broken charging stations,” says co-founder and CEO Kameal Terry in a promotional video. Evette Ellis, also co-founder, serves as chief workforce officer.
In another example, TwingTec makes an 8-rotor wind energy drone that operates on a tether at high altitude. It generates energy when the tether moves a winch connected to an electric generator as the drone flies. The company has posted proof of concept videos dating back to 2016.