COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2019 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has partnered with
innovation specialist L Marks to launch IlluminationLAB. IlluminationLAB, based Columbus, Ohio, is
a strategic initiative designed to identify innovative technology solutions that will drive improved
performance and enhance customer experiences in the energy industry.
IlluminationLAB is designed to help AEP find promising new technologies and innovative
ideas focused in four areas – customer experience; grid optimization; efficiency, operations and
maintenance; and electric mobility/electrification.
L Marks will help AEP identify promising entrepreneurs and early and growth stage
companies in the energy sector to apply to participate in the IlluminationLAB program. L Marks is
initiating a global talent search for participants today.
If selected for the IlluminationLAB, tech startups will work directly with an AEP mentor and
industry experts for 10 weeks to help advance and shape their idea or technology. They will be
given access to working space, potential funding and the chance to develop products, platforms
and processes that will help AEP expand its technology-driven offerings and processes. In addition,
the startups will have the opportunity to further develop their companies alongside leading subject
matter experts in the energy sector.
“AEP’s IlluminationLAB is designed to combine industry insight and learnings with the
perspective and technologies of talented startups from around the world. We are particularly
interested in products and solutions focused on renewable energy resources, smart connected
devices, customer engagement, predictive analytics and virtual assessments. We want to lead the
utility industry in building the future of energy for the benefit of our customers,” said Chris Johnson,
director, AEP Enterprise Innovation and Technology.
“We are delighted to be partnering with AEP as we launch the IlluminationLAB. Having
worked with AEP over the past few months, we have witnessed their brilliant attitude to open
innovation, and we are excited to uncover the most exciting early and growth stage companies who
will be able to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity to expand their businesses whilst
creating game-changing solutions across the energy sector,” said Daniel Saunders, chief executive,
L Marks.
AEP’s IlluminationLAB will focus on four key themes, but will consider other creative
proposals that don’t fit one of the themes:
Customer Experience
Communication with customers and the ability to provide pertinent information that enables
customers make informed energy choices is crucial. AEP is seeking ways to better understand
consumer behavior and to provide more proactive, personalized communications that will give
customers the information they need to make informed energy decisions.
Grid Optimization
AEP is responsible for managing a huge network of infrastructure designed to provide safe,
reliable and affordable service for all customers, to meet peak energy demands, and to enhance
use of its infrastructure assets. AEP is seeking new technologies to enhance management and
utilization of its energy production and delivery infrastructure, address potential impacts of
customers who generate and control their own electricity, and to inexpensively control and shift
energy peaks locally, rather than across the entire grid.
Efficiency, Operations and Maintenance
AEP is seeking opportunities to improve efficiency by digitizing traditional processes and
also aggregating data from customers, infrastructure and facilities. AEP also is looking for solutions
that can provide enhanced and new data from its systems to help inform decisions and
Electric Mobility/Electrification
New infrastructure is needed to support electric mobility including charging, demand
management and grid stability. AEP is seeking technology innovations that will help increase the
adoption of electric mobility and reduce the costs for the infrastructure needed to support adoption.
Start-ups, entrepreneurs, and businesses interested in learning more and applying for the
IlluminationLAB are encouraged to visit Applications to participate in the
IlluminationLAB will be open until March 24. The most compelling applications will have the
opportunity to pitch their ideas to AEP executives and stakeholders May 14, with the cohort starting
June 17.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy
infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers.
AEP’s approximately 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity
transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe,
reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s
largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity,
including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP
Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in
Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and
Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas
Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP
Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.
L Marks is a leading advisor in applied innovation and experienced investor in early-stage
technologies. Led by Stuart Marks and Daniel Saunders, L Marks has created the UK’s largest
network of corporate accelerators and launched over fifty innovation programs across Europe,
Israel, Japan and the US. Their unique approach and methodology is building bridges between
large organisations seeking to innovate and young companies looking to scale. They work with
some of the world’s best-known brands, including BMW, Lloyd's of London, Arsenal FC, and British
Airways to identify business challenges and transform them into opportunities for growth. The L
Marks collaborative, results-driven programs provide insight and access to startups whilst
embedding their pioneering technologies into corporates to enhance operations, improve customer
experience, and cultivate an entrepreneurial ethos across the business. Through creating these
relationships and experiences, L Marks is achieving rapid digital transformation across industry
sectors and accelerating the businesses of the future.


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