The Challenge

When lots of people drive electric vehicles our collective emissions will be lower, and our air quality will improve. But what about everyone coming home at the same time and plugging in to recharge? Will the increased load on our energy infrastructure be able to handle this and how would we know? Is it true that everyone will charge at the end of their day? The City of Fort Collins, along with the Innosphere and Colorado State University, wanted to find out.

The Solution

This competition called for proposals for technology to be deployed within the City to understand and quantify the actual electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. The objective was to quantify the scheduling, location and electric loads of EVs currently in operation on Fort Collins distribution system. Respondents were able to base their technology and resulting study on data acquisition from vehicles, installed metering or monitoring or advanced meter data.

The Prize

Finalists for the competition presented at the 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium on Wednesday, September 28th and Thursday, September 29th, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The winner of the competition, Qmulus, has been afforded the opportunity to test their technology in a real world environment with support from City of Fort Collins Utilities to demonstrate a proof of concept and market adoption readiness.

Qmulus Wins Inaugural City of Fort Collins Innovation Challenge

The City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and Innosphere, Colorado’s leading technology incubator, have announced the winner of the first Innovate Fort Collins competition. This technology competition was focused on solving electric vehicle (EV) charging challenges because as more people buy electric vehicles, the pressure on charging loads can affect the reliability of the electric grid.

Qmulus, an emerging technology company with a solution for a plug-and-play adapter, was announced the winner on September 28th at Colorado State University’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium. The Qmulus adapter connects between the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). For this competition, applications were collected from companies and entrepreneurs that focused on data acquisition from vehicles, installed metering or monitoring, or advanced meter data.

“Innovate Fort Collins is specifically designed to help innovators bring relevant technologies to market that are going to help communities like Fort Collins meet its climate action goals,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. In future Innovate Fort Collins competitions, Innosphere will continue to help the City with technology scouting in order to find new innovation to meet their Road to 2020 goals concerning water, buildings, mobility solutions, energy and waste reduction.

As the competition winner, Qmulus will be able to test and demonstrate the technology solution within the Fort Collins Utilities electric grid. Qmulus’ adapter gives users with low-end charger stations the ability to network their charge sessions without going to the expense of upgrading their EVSE. “The adapter will allow conversion of a dumb station to a smart station at a substantially lower cost than replacing the EVSE,” said Matthew Raymond, co-founder of Qmulus. “The adapter will allow residents, communities, workplaces, fleets, multi-unit dwellings, retailers and utilities to gain more detailed information about PEV charging behavior. Utilities can also use the adapter for load control and metering.” Raymond accepted the award at the event and gave a presentation on why Qmulus’ emerging technology is ideal for a test and demonstration project with City of Fort Collins utilities.

The competition began with Innosphere collaborating with the City of Fort Collins to help implement the goals of the City of Fort Collins’ Road to 2020 plan. The Road to 2020 plan sets new goals to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and 80 percent by 2030, with a desire to be carbon neutral by 2050. The theme of this first competition was focused on electric vehicles because the City wanted to better understand and quantify future mass electric vehicle charging patterns in Fort Collins. “This will help us manage our core utilities distribution system while making progress toward a carbon-neutral City,” said Jackie Kozak Thiel, chief sustainability officer for the City of Fort Collins.

“We are excited to work with the City of Fort Collins and Innosphere on this challenge,” said Maury Dobbie, assistant director of CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy and symposium chair. “Our 6th annual symposium is all about finding solutions related to the energy transition of our country, and one of the ways we’re doing that is through collaboration with industry and government.”

For more information about the City of Fort Collins’ implementation of the Road to 2020, go to

For more information on Innosphere, or how Innosphere’s program can support your high-impact science or technology startup, please visit and apply to be a part of the next cohort of client companies.

CSU’s 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium event continues through today, September 29th, and live streaming is available for all panels and sessions at

About Innosphere:

Innosphere is a non-profit technology incubator accelerating the success of high-impact science and technology startups. Innosphere has two physical locations in Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado to support entrepreneurs building potential, high-growth companies in the industries of health innovations, life sciences, software, hardware, energy, and advanced materials. Innosphere’s incubation program focuses on ensuring companies are investor ready, connecting them with experienced advisors, and making introductions to corporate partners. Once accepted into the program, companies receive customized development plans and ongoing support to ensure they’re getting the know-how to raise the right kind of capital, and all the resources to grow.