By Chris Barrett
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – The Slater Technology Fund announced Monday $150,000 in seed-stage funding for VCharge, a Cranston-based energy management services company.
VCharge develops technology that allows renewable energy systems to respond to changes in energy demand and pricing in real time. Proponents say that the “smart grid” technology promises to help better integrate renewable energy systems into the existing electric grid.
The Slater fund called VCharge part of a “cleantech” industry that encompasses energy generation, efficiency, smart grid infrastructure, transportation and environmental technologies.
Slater said that during the fourth quarter of last year the industry’s share of global venture investment eclipsed that of biotech and was second only to software.
“Today, many of the most compelling ventures we see come from talented entrepreneurs attacking problems associated with energy and the environment,” said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of the Slater Technology Fund.
The VCharge funding is the fourth investment Slater has made in emerging companies in the energy and environmental technology sector. Previous investments include Alektrona, which develops advanced metering technology; ModEnergy, developer of battery technology for renewable energy; and BioprocessH20, a provider of wastewater treatment solutions.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the expanding network of Rhode Island cleantech companies, and will be using this Slater funding to grow our business over the next year,” VCharge CEO Jessica Millar said.