Tech Thursday: Boulder company wants to help bring electricity to the developing world

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 13:52:45-04

BOULDER, Colo. – More than a billion people worldwide are currently living without electricity and about a billion more have unreliable access to power, according to the United Nations.

Improving access to electricity in the developing world is a big challenge, but it’s one that Boulder-based Odyssey Energy Solutions isn’t afraid to take on.

The startup is working on a collection of 10 software tools to help bring together all the various players in energy development and make it easier to build out miniature power grids in areas that are still in the dark.

Odyssey is focusing its efforts on sustainable energy like solar power. The cost of solar has come down so much in recent years that it’s now cheaper to build a small solar power grid than it is to expand the already existing infrastructure to rural areas, Odyssey CEO and co-founder Emily McAteer said. Odyssey’s goal is to enable and assist project developers who are looking to make that kind of “leap-frog” jump beyond traditional electricity projects.

“There’s a lot of people really excited about this sector, but the money hasn’t really started flowing yet,” McAteer said.

With its suite of software tools, Odyssey aims to simplify and streamline the process, making it easier to get funding and get those smaller-scale projects off the ground.

“We’re trying to be the go-to platform in the market,” McAteer said.

Odyssey currently has a small team of four people but McAteer said the company is growing and chose to locate in Boulder specifically because of all the great tech talent there.

“It’s been an incredible experience building a business in Colorado,” she said.

Odyssey hopes to release the first version of its platform in the fall for testing, with the goal of launching on a larger scale next year.

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