Ladybug Tools, a company that creates computer applications to support environmental building design, was selected as one of five companies nationally to join the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2). The invite-only program is a $30 million clean technology incubator funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Ladybug Tools was founded in Baltimore in 2017 by Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari, a designer, software developer, and educator, but has since relocated to Fairfax, Va. Ladybug Tools’ software connects computer-aided design (CAD) interfaces used by architects and engineers to simulation engines that model building energy use, daylight, airflow, and other phenomena of building physics, the company said in statement. The company will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding, meaning this financing doesn’t require the sale of any company shares. The company will begin work with the Golden, Colo.–based NREL in January to create products using its facilities, tech and scientists before beta testing its final products at a Wells Fargo location.
“We aim to make environmental design tools freely accessible to every person, project and design process,” Chris Mackey, cofounder of Ladybug Tools said in a statement. “We have already built a thriving community around our software, which has been downloaded over 200,000 times and has undoubtedly contributed to the billions of dollars in energy use saved in recent years through building design informed by energy modeling. We are excited to grow our community even further with the help provided by IN2 and the opportunities to work with both Wells Fargo and NREL.”
The incubator program that launched in 2014 was created to foster clean-tech innovations that improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Program leaders expanded its focus this year to support innovation in sectors such as transportation, food systems, energy storage and others, with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected communities of the future, the press release states. In 2019, the incubator will expand to include the intersection of food, energy and water.
“We are delighted to welcome Ladybug Tools to the IN2 portfolio of companies, who together are developing cutting-edge technologies to improve sustainability in commercial buildings and contributing to IN2’s vision of creating a strong and diverse clean-tech ecosystem,” Ramsay Huntley, vice president and Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer for Wells Fargo said in a statement. “To date, IN2 has funded 25 early-stage companies who collectively have gone on to raise $114 million in follow-on funding from external sources, and we are all very proud of that.-30-