I've just debriefed with three, very smart people who will be discussing their top three challenges to smart grid implementation: Brian Huey from Sprint, John Skinner from Intel Ventures, and Michelle Lesh who runs Smart Grid operations at GE.  The conference, hosted Plug and Play Tech Center, takes place April 14 and will be focused on finding the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the enormous changes anticipated for upgrading the nation's electric grid. In addition to finding the "pain points," we'll look at issues such as:

  • Utilities are not known for speed. They are known for a cautious, conservative approach to technology. So how does a pain-killing technology that solves one of their biggest issues succeed in getting adopted?
  • Some industry observers have speculated that utilities will evolve into organizations that outsource everything that doesn’t have to do with ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of electricity. Do you agree? If yes, how would these services have to be structured to appeal to utilities and regulators?
  • Companies all have various forms of developer programs. What types of Smart Grid innovations are you seeking and what are the criteria for selection?

Lastly, we'll look at the announcement this morning about the Smart Grid Center of Excellence that Plug and Play Tech Center is launching. Along with other initiatives at D.O.E. and GE, we'll be looking at ways to make sure that there are ample opportunities for collaboration and further discussion that will jumpstart smart grid success.

Please join us live and in-person to inter-act with these leaders and to learn how smart grid will benefit investors, companies, partners and consumers.  See you in Sunnyvale.