Climate Tech’s March Madness of Opportunities, Funding, and Cohort Wins
Welcome to For ClimateTalk – For ClimateTech’s monthly newsletter highlighting upcoming opportunities for climate innovators, thought leaders, and community connectors.
Applications to join Cohort 3 of Venture For ClimateTech closes this Friday, March 10, 2023 at 6:00pm EST.
Each company accepted into the cohort will receive up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding at the six-month virtual accelerator, in addition to one-on-one mentorship and supportive programming. PLUS, this year we are launching our diverse fellows initiative which provides an additional $10,000 for two Black and Latina/Latino founders who are accepted into the accelerator. Ideal candidates for Venture For ClimateTech are developing a solution to decarbonize the following key sectors: Buildings, transportation, grid, and industry.
Learn more and apply here.
Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is recruiting for its Summer ClimateTech Prototyping Hardware Accelerator!
The no-cost program, funded by NYSERDA and in partnership with Cornell Engineering, guides product teams through a process to determine if their ideas are commercially desirable, technologically feasible, and economically viable. In addition to mentorship, prototype support, and introductions to vetted contract manufacturers, climate tech innovators are eligible for a non-dilutive $8,000 stipend to support prototype development. This accelerator offers two other tracks as well – Open and AgTech. Learn more and apply here.
Apply to Pitch at the GreenBiz Accelerate at Circularity 23 Competition for $40,000 in Prizes
Accelerate at Circularity 23 is a fast-pitch competition featuring entrepreneurs with innovative technologies, products, and services advancing a circular economy. Selected finalists will pitch in person from the Circularity main stage in Seattle on June 5-7 to an audience of investors, business, government, and thought leaders.
Applications are due by March 24. Learn more and apply here.
Climate Tech Workshops and Micro-Grants Available through the New Energy New York Charge-Up Program
New Energy New York (NENY) and the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator Clean Energy Program launched the New Energy New York Charge-Up Program to support climate tech innovators and startups in key gap areas. Educational sessions, along with micro-grant funding, will be provided.
- SBIR/STTR Workshop: Application Process & Funding Options for Startups. Wednesday, March 9, 11AM to 12PM EST | Micro-grant eligible expenses ($2,000 maximum) include SBIR/STTR grant writer and consultant fees. Learn more and apply here.
Three For ClimateTech Alumni Companies Announced to Present at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 2023 Industry Growth Forum (IGF)
- Mars Materials – Early Stage Presenting Track
- Dimensional Energy – Commercial Stage Presenting Track
- Ecolectro – Commercial Stage Presenting Track
These companies are three of the 40 teams selected to present, chosen out of a pool of 189 companies across the globe. You can read more about the teams selected and the 2023 NREL Industry Growth Forum here.
The Department of Defense’s Security Innovation Capital awarded $1.5M to New Frontier Aerospace (NFA) to expand on its hypersonic engine development. The development of the Mjölnir rocket engine serves as the initial stage of NFA’s overall plan to build a hypersonic aircraft for delivering passengers and cargo safely to any airport or vertiport on Earth in less than two hours. See the full announcement here.
Watch Shelley Xu of Shelley Xu Designs (SXD) showcase her zero-waste designs on the City of New York’s Twitter. SXD is about maximizing beauty using minimalism through design-tech software that turns leftover and wasted textiles into beautiful zero-waste clothing with about 55% lower cost. Watch the full video here.
Enerpoly received an €870K grant from the Eurostars-3 program with Efficient Energy Technology (EET) to deliver renewable energy to households in Europe. The collaborative project, titled ZincMate, will drive the development and commercialization of an energy storage device that can be adopted by all households in Europe. Read the full release here.
Read about Community Energy Labs (CEL) field pilot at Sonora Elementary School in South Los Angeles and the benefits from its modern building control solutions that are making smart energy management and decarbonization accessible and affordable for community buildings. See the full post and white paper here.
WeRadiate is partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology to study process efficiency improvements that might be realized by implementing WeRadiate’s compost monitoring system. As part of a research project funded by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) and New York State’s Environmental Protection fund, the effort will help New York State meet its food and waste diversion goals by providing crucial metrics and insight into the benefits of compost monitoring systems like those developed by WeRadiate.
Climatize was selected to join the US Department of Energy’s Community Power Accelerator Program that offers a series of funding to organizations working to identify and expand equitable access to community solar across the U.S. and create new capital sources. Read about the full announcement here by the Santa Cruz Works Accelerates program.
Sashti Balasundaram | CEO and Founder of WeRadiate
What’s your elevator pitch?
WeRadiate improves soil health. We do that through data technology, community engagement, and advocacy.
What’s your motivation for your company?
So I was living in Pondicherry, India, and I was exposed to a facility that collected food scraps from a cafeteria and then processed them on a farm. I thought it was very magical to see food scraps turn into really healthy soil. They also had this 70-foot long worm bin. It was just incredible and fascinating to me that people just throw out their food waste, which is very valuable. So, when I moved back to the States, I wanted to figure out how I could do this here locally in the US or New York.
What are your top 3 go-to places to learn what’s happening in the climate tech space?
- United States Compost Council conference (USCC)
- Google groups: The NYC Community Composting Google Groups and the Community Composter Coalition
- BioCycle Magazine
Outside of WeRadiate, what do you do for fun?
I love to actually garden. Last year, I had a backyard and there were a whole bunch of trees. I added to this by planting berry bushes and garlic . I also love to just bike and maybe this is a good spot to share that we’re having a compost bike tour in Brooklyn on June 4. If it rains, we will hold the tour on June 11. Check out our instagram and newsletter for more on that.
Do you have any advice for other founders on how to keep up with the mental stamina and demands of being a founder?
One thing that comes to mind is, if you could just do 1% better a day–just a little bit more each day throughout the year–then cumulatively over time, this can really be significant for you and your company.
Get Free Support and Find Funding for Product Manufacturing — Apply Now
If you have a new technology, NextCorps’ Manufacturing Accelerator can help you avoid costly mistakes and navigate the manufacturing landscape to successfully move your concept or prototype into mass production. The free program is designed for early- to growth-stage hardware companies that are at a Technology Readiness Level of (TRL) 2 or higher.
Applications are now being accepted through March 27. Register for an upcoming virtual info session on March 15 to see if this program is right for you.
Apply now or visit NextCorps.org/Manufacturing-Accelerator to find out more about this nine-week program.
The Carbon to Value (C2V) Initiative is now welcoming applications for its third cohort! Selected startups will get exclusive access to (1) the world’s first and only accelerator dedicated to carbontech; (2) collaboration opportunities with leading corporates, non-profits, and government; and, (3) C2V’s rich network and resources. Applications are open until March 31.
Entrepreneurs addressing key challenges during the development phase of US offshore wind are encouraged to apply to the new Offshore Wind Innovation Hub Accelerator. This is a unique opportunity to be integrated into the New York offshore wind ecosystem through engagement with Equinor, which is developing the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind projects. Applications are due March 27.
Check out our For ClimateTech’s latest blog post, Funding that Fits Your Product Stage, by Scale For ClimateTech program manager, Peter Hogya. Not all funding is the right funding for your company and each funding source comes with its own unique requirements and milestones that may not be in your team’s best interest. Peter walks you through the nuances of understanding where your startup is actually at and what sources of funding can help you best. Read the full blog here.
The Climate Tech Current
As the Editor of the For ClimateTech newsletter, I come across a lot of stories regarding the climate tech and startup ecosystem. The Climate Tech Current is a new section where I will share what I think are some of the month’s top three impactful climate tech related ideas, news, multimedia content, or happenings worth your screen-time. If you have any interesting stories that you think are worth sharing, don’t hesitate to drop me a note here.
A rare find… Ryan McIntosh launched a hardware climate tech startup, RoadPower, that ultimately didn’t work out. Ryan did a write up in his substack titled, Lessons Learned Building My First Hardware Startup in the Sustainability Space, that captures many of the struggles we’ve seen other startups fall into. It’s easy to find well-written success stories but this is the first failure story that I’ve come across specific to hardware and climate tech.
News to know… Tesla workers at South Buffalo’s plant launched a union campaign at the beginning of the month under Tesla Workers United. Tesla Workers United is the first major domestic labor litmus test for the climate tech industry and, if successful, it would become Tesla’s first unionized plant. Follow the story with the Buffalo News and others.
More important news to know… Ideally I like to balance this out with a book recommendation but the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio at the beginning of February very nearly displaced my in-laws in Western, PA not too far away and was a sobering reminder of some of the risks associated with industry and manufacturing. And now almost exactly a month later, the Northfolk Southern train line had a second derailment in Springfield, OH. Thankfully there was no toxic cargo on the second train.