“This is the strongest cohort of cleantech startups that I’ve seen since I started working as a volunteer mentor with Cleantech Open almost 10 years ago,” said Cleantech Open Northeast Director Beth Zonis. “They are addressing our most pressing environmental challenges with unique and compelling solutions.”
Along with the 30 companies participating in this year’s accelerator, Cleantech Open Northeast will be working with an additional six companies through the Company Development Program (CDP), which provides mentorship and curriculum to help early-stage companies prepare for participation in a future accelerator program.
Out of the 30 participating companies, there are 15 from Massachusetts, six from New York, three from Rhode Island, one from New Hampshire, one from New Jersey, one from Pennsylvania (with presence in Massachusetts), one from Connecticut, one from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and one from Bilbao, Spain (with presence in Massachusetts).
This year, Slater Technology Fund encouraged Rhode Island entrepreneurs to apply for Cleantech Open by underwriting the application costs and participation fees. Thorne Sparkman, Slater managing director, said, “We’re especially proud of the fact that a record number of Rhode Island companies will be participating in the program this year.”
Cleantech Open Northeast works in conjunction with partner accelerators and incubators across the region. This year’s cohort includes teams who have previously participated in New York State’s proof-of-concept centers (PowerBridge NY and NEXUS NY), 76West Clean Energy Competition and its clean Energy Business Incubator Program at Stony Brook University, all administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Additional teams have participated in Massachusetts’ EforAll, IDEA, MassChallenge, MIT Clean Energy Prize, MIT Sandbox and MIT Waste Alliance, The 2018 cohort includes companies that are currently based out of B-Lab, CEBIP, CIC, and Greentown Labs.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Governor Cuomo’s leadership has created a clean energy ecosystem in New York that supports emerging technology companies as they strive toward bringing their technology and ideas to the marketplace. I’m thrilled to see so many New York-based teams participating in this year’s Cleantech Open Northeast, and I look forward to watching them move through the accelerator to join other innovative companies as part of New York’s thriving renewable energy sector.”
“Cleantech Open Northeast provides critical support to our local entrepreneurs as they pursue technology breakthroughs and solutions, and I am proud to see that half of the 30 cleantech startups participating in the 2018 Cleantech business accelerator are Massachusetts companies,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Cleantech Open Northeast’s deep commitment to aiding local cleantech startups has boosted the thriving innovation sector in Massachusetts and played a key role in strengthening the cleantech industry nationwide.”
Cleantech Open Northeast’s 2018 Cohort, which was selected from a pool of 57 applicants, represents all eight technology categories eligible to participate in Cleantech Open.
For the second year in a row, the leading number of participants are companies developing Agriculture, Water, & Waste solutions, with 11 startups in this category. There are seven in Information & Communications, three in Chemicals and Advanced Materials, three in Energy Efficiency, two in Energy Generation, two in Green Building, one in Energy Distribution & Storage, and one in Transportation.
Cleantech Open strives for diversity and inclusion among startups, as well as staff and volunteers. The 2018 cohort is quite diverse. There are eight teams led by people of color, eight that are student led, and six led by women. Four of the six CDP teams are led by people of color.
The 2018 Cleantech Open Northeast accelerator officially kicks off with the Cleantech Open East Coast Academy in New York City on June 11 and 12. The academy is a rigorous two-day program during which companies will hear from and interact with leading cleantech business leaders, receive specialized startup mentoring, begin to refine their business plans, and network with each other and with the speakers and mentors. Throughout the five-month accelerator, companies will be connected with mentors, entrepreneurship education, visibility, opportunities to access capital, and other vital resources to help entrepreneurs and technologists launch a successful cleantech company.
About Cleantech Open
Cleantech Open is the world’s oldest and largest cleantech accelerator and is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Over the past eight years, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services. During that time, our 1200 alumni companies have raised more than $1.2 billion in external funding. Fueled by a network of more than 2,000 volunteers, Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit us at cleantechopen.org or follow us on Twitter.
NECEC (Northeast Clean Energy Council & NECEC Institute) is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale and succeed with our unique business, innovation, and policy leadership. NECEC is the Northeast regional affiliate for Cleantech Open, executing the Northeast accelerator and business plan competition and building the region’s innovation network with NECEC’s successor program for cleantech entrepreneurs, Cleantech Navigate Northeast. Learn more at www.necec.org.