Graphene Energy, an Austin, Tex. startup based on technology from the University of Texas and Virginia’s College of William and Mary, has taken a $500,000 seed round from Quercus Trust and 21Ventures.

Ultracapacitors (insulating layers between conductors that house electric fields) are being explored by a variety of startups for their energy storage, usually as a component accompanying batteries in electric cars. Graphene is seeking to improve the technology by improving capacitance, or the amount of energy stored, and increasing the energy density of its capacitors.

Other companies in the field include Apowercap Technologies, Eestor and Maxwell Technologies, all three of which hope to install their products in electric vehicles.