SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE)
George R. Brown Convention Center | Houston, Texas, USA
3–5 October 2022

Startup Village | 13–14 September 2021

The 2021 SPE ATCE Startup Village Energy Startup Competition Winners are Announced!

Our Startup Village judges deliberated over the 12 outstanding competition pitches on Monday, 13 September, and determined the 2021 Startup Village Energy Startup Competition single "Best in Show" and three "Rising Star" winners.
At the same time, the audience declared the People's Choice winner.


gifCongratulations to all of the winners!


See the JPT article announcement of the winners.

Best in Show

Competitor: Jeffrey Ricker, CEO, Co-Founder

USD 35,000 prize money

Rising Star

Cheetah Networks Inc
Competitor: Michael McCallen, CEO and Founder

Competitor: Joost DeBakker, Regional Manager, MENA

Competitor: Habib Al Khatib, CEO

USD 7,500 each prize money

People's Choice

Competitor: Habib Al Khatib, CEO

USD 1,000 prize money

Register and View On-Demand until 23 December | View the Energy Startup Competitors and Learn from Leading Experts

A Personal Invitation from David Reid, Startup Village Chairperson

13 September 2021 00:00:00

Register now to virtually watch our competitors' pitches during the Energy Startup Competition on Monday, 13 September. Over USD 55,000 in prize money will be distributed to the winners!


Energy Startup Competition

On-demand program available until 23 December

14 September 2021 00:00:00

Join us again on Tuesday, 14 September when we announce the Energy Startup Competition winners.  Stay and engage virtually with our experts during “Meet the Experts”.

Competition Award Ceremony and “Meet the Experts” 

On-demand program available until 23 December

Our 2021 Energy Startup Competition Competitors

Competition Awards and Meet the Experts Program

0800-0830   Startup Village Energy Startup Competition Awards Ceremony with 2022 SPE President, Kamel Ben-Naceur

0830-0915    Fireside Chat with David Reid, NOV; Iain Cooper, CEO, SeekOps; and Angela Smoller, CFO, SeekOps 

0915-1050     Table Discussions

                       How to Engage Corporate Ventures with Your Idea | Andrea Course, Venture Principal at Shell Tech Ventures

                       Trends in Energy Investments | Deanna Zhang, Director - New Energy Ventures at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co

                       How to Scale a Startup | William Foiles, COO and Co-founder at Project Canary       

                       Do Academia Incubators Work? |   Narendra Vishnumolakala, Co-founder at Teale

1050-1135      Fireside Chat with Bryant Mueller, AspenTech, and David Lod, CEO, VEERUM

1135-1140       Closing Remarks

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Startup Village Sponsorship

Give your organization maximum exposure to an audience of E&P professionals, including top decision-makers. Consider a sponsorship package for Startup Village!

With the Startup Village sponsorship, you can target venture capitalists, angel investors, veteran entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. This is a great way to showcase your company's support of innovative technologies and newly-formed companies.


Download the Startup Village Sponsorship Contract             Download the Startup Village Brochure

Meet Some of Our Recent Winners


Kirstie Boyle, 2018 Startup Village "Rising Star" Award Winner Discusses the Significance of ATCE Startup Village and Startups

K Boyle


The ATCE Startup Village is a partnership between SPE and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University.

The Startup Village will take place virtually this year. It will consist of the Energy Startup Competition on Monday, 13 September, and the Competition Awards Ceremony and "Meet the Experts" on Tuesday, 14 September.

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For ATCE Startup Village or event sponsorship, contact Gail Smith, SPE Senior Event Manager.

For the Energy Startup Competition, contact Tara Williams, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship Program Manager. 

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Rice Alliance

Energy Startup Competition

Launched in 2017, the Energy Startup Competition is a fast-paced competition showcasing emerging energy technology companies.

Competitors will receive visibility among leaders in the upstream energy industry, recognition as technology leaders, the opportunity for cash prizes, networking with leading energy investors, and mentoring.

The 12 finalist companies selected to present will have the opportunity to participate in a mentoring session before the Competition and will receive complimentary admission to ATCE.

During the competition, each company will have 5 to 8 minutes to provide information about their company and technology to a group of venture capitalists, angel investors, and industry leaders.

During "Meet the Experts", all participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and gain insights from investors, industry representatives, and veteran entrepreneurs about building startups.

Bryant Mueller, on the Merits of ATCE Startup Village



Startup Village Committee

David Reid, NOV

Brad Burke, Rice Alliance
Stuart Coleman, Chevron
Sean Ebert, Altira Group
Josh Etkind, Shell
Chad Harkness, Schlumberger
Nikhil Kulkarni, Wipro
Sylvaine Le Roy-Delage, AD-GY Consulting
Aaron Lazarus, Pioneer Natural Resources




Bryant Mueller, AspenTech
Nii Nunoo, KPMG
Mike Party, Hess
Narayanan Radhakrishnan, NOV
Jose Silva, Xecta Digital Labs
Jeff Simmons, Oxy
Tara Williams, Rice Alliance