Upgrade Energy

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2022 | Status: Active

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What is Upgrade Energy?

Upgrade Energy began its journey in 2020 from shifting from a drone company to a battery company after realizing the biggest limiting factor in drone technology is flight time. The founder, Matthew Barnard, developed a new LiIon battery technology and along with his team, scaled the company to manufacture drone batteries at scale in St Louis Missouri. After early traction, the company further expanded their product line to carrying 14 distinct products to date. After working through customer feedback, Ariel Cerfoglia and Matthew Barnard have worked to bring Smart Battery technology to their battery technology, enabling battery analytics to further improve the safety and widespread use of the batteries. Since launching, Upgrade Energy has sold over 1000 batteries, selling through 3 online retailers, direct to consumer, and specific batteries developed for commercial clients. Upgrade Energy has attracted numerous high profile customers such as Drone Express who handles drone delivery for Kroger’s Grocers, Papa John’s Pizza, Win Supply Construction company, Whirrx who performs ground surveys nationwide, the US Air Force Academy, and several other companies who are currently testing our batteries for deployment for their drone services. Upgrade Energy has a team of 5 and is continuing to scale their business through increasing manufacturing output. So far, Upgrade Energy has made a difference through enabling delivery of goods, enabling further reach of search and rescue operations, and enabling the advancement of clean tech to provide a greener future for all.

Upgrade Energy has brought to market a silicone anode Lilon based battery system which achieves a 30% increase in pack energy density to standard NMC Lilon based battery chemistries.

Company Leadership

Matthew Barnard


Matthew Barnard has been involved in robotics from a young age. After finishing his degree in computer science, he worked as a software developer, then an electrical engineer for a consumer product company. While launching a drone startup, he realized that the need for a better battery technology is what was limiting the drone industry, and Upgrade Energy was born.

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