Drexel Startup GrowFlux Lands Investment from Exelon
June 11, 2020
A startup founded by Drexel alumni was selected to be a part of Exelon’s inaugural cohort for the $20 million Climate Change Investment Initiative (2c2i). The selection comes with $100,000 as well as access to Exelon’s internal innovation programs such as Exelorate Growth and Constellation Technology Ventures.
GrowFlux was founded by Eric Eisele (BS materials science and engineering ’09) and Alex Roscoe (BS electrical engineering ’13) to develop a smart lighting control system that could significantly reduce the cost of lighting automation and energy needs for indoor agriculture. GrowFlux uses a cloud-based control platform that is uniquely differentiated from its competitors.
Chris Gould, Exelon’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and chief innovation and sustainability officer, told Agfundernews: “[By growing food close to city centers] there is a climate change mitigation benefit from the decreased emissions related to traditional, carbon-intensive farming methods of harvesting, planting and transporting food from rural areas to cities. GrowFlux can increase yields in indoor farming, making it more economical for city centers and capable of serving underserved communities fresh and healthier foods.”
“The partnership with Exelon will help GrowFlux advance its energy savings and energy management solutions and allow our customers to drive down their operating costs and carbon footprint associated with greenhouse and indoor agriculture,” said GrowFlux co-founder Eisele.
Since 2018, GrowFlux has been a tenant of ic@3401, a startup incubator located at 3401 Market and jointly managed by Drexel Applied Innovation and the University City Science Center. There, GrowFlux became acquainted with two key advisors who eventually became GrowFlux board advisors: ex-Intel Capital venture investor Dave Saunders and Ben Williams, a serial entrepreneur and COO at Exyn which raised $16 million in 2019.
GrowFlux co-founder Alex Roscoe credits ic@3401 for its recent success. “ic@3401 was instrumental in helping us build a great team and the weekly informal pitch review sessions gave us valuable feedback to improve our investor presentations,” he said.
“This is a great news for GrowFlux and also for the ic@3401 community,” said Shintaro Kaido, Drexel’s vice provost for innovation and executive director of Drexel Applied Innovation. “The Exelon 2c2i opportunity will be an amazing opportunity for GrowFlux to refine their product market fit thesis and get in a great position to scale.”
About Exelon’s 2c2i
2c2i is focused on innovations that will positively impact the cities in which Exelon operates, including Atlantic City; Chicago; Baltimore; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; and Wilmington, Delaware. Eligible innovations must have the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; boost the resiliency of urban infrastructure (e.g., the power grid, transportation systems, buildings, vacant land) against flood, stormwater and rising temperatures; help cities, businesses and communities adapt to climate change; or help achieve a state or city’s specific sustainability and climate goals.
About Drexel Applied Innovation
Drexel Applied Innovation provides technology licensing, industry-sponsored research support and entrepreneurial development services to elevate the impact of entrepreneurial and innovative endeavors of Drexel innovators.