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ExxonMobil is scouting for a few good startups


The number of world-changing ideas out there is staggering. Corralling the ones that can spark new forms of energy is equally challenging.

That’s why ExxonMobil created a new technology-scouting initiative to scour the world for energy startups and innovators. The Technology Scouting and Venturing Group is connecting the company’s researchers with new technologies that could help meet the world’s evolving energy needs.

“Big ideas, especially when it comes to energy, don’t just come from a few big labs,” explains Nazeer Bhore, the Technology Scouting and Venturing Group’s global manager. “They also thrive in startups or with bold innovators developing breakthrough technologies and associated business models in their garages. Our scouting and venturing group will help us connect with this ecosystem.”

In the 15 months since its inception, the group has reviewed hundreds of projects, from new robots that can inspect fuel tanks to botanists working to create plants that can store more carbon.

To link ExxonMobil with these innovators, the group has deployed scouts in Cambridge, Mass.; Houston; San Francisco; the greater New York area; and cities across Europe, China and India. From their respective bases, scouts meet with startups and researchers who are developing technologies and processes that could impact some of ExxonMobil’s current businesses but could also identify new opportunities for new growth.

Specifically, scouts target technologies that address the dual challenge of meeting the world’s growing energy demand while reducing emissions and environmental impacts. If the technologies show potential to be scaled to industrial levels, ExxonMobil assesses the potential to invest.

ExxonMobil has never been innovation shy. It’s one of the few Fortune 500 companies that runs its own research lab, home to a number of breakthrough projects, including advanced carbon capture technology and the development of biofuel made from algae. This new scouting group expands ExxonMobil’s innovation footprint by supporting step-out ideas and plugging into new industries and new ways of thinking.

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