Know Your NYSERDA Perks For Startups

Being a NYSERDA supported program, For ClimateTech has the benefit of some insider knowledge when it comes to extra resources offered to climate tech startups in New York State. In fact, some of our own startups participating in For ClimateTech programs are taking advantage of these opportunities.  You might be able to as well, so we’re highlighting these perks below.

The NYSERDA Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) Program

The EIR program is designed to provide early-stage companies with advice and knowledge from seasoned executives to make informed decisions. Many startups run into issues from a lack of experience or expertise in specific areas which can lead to easily avoidable problems that can be devastating to an early company. The problems can range from staffing for growth, budget management, resource planning, raising capital, and more. The program is administered by Columbia Technology Ventures and helps in a variety of areas.

If you and your team are struggling with customer discovery, sales, raising capital, or other specific roadblocks, team up with a mentor who can get you through a specific hurdle. It’s hard to be an expert in everything, – so find expert guidance from someone who’s been there before. 

Pitch Coaching
Each pitch is a different experience depending on your audience. Get a fresh perspective on your pitch from a professional who can guide you in making the most relevant presentation for each audience’s needs to help you put your best foot forward at a when trying to raise funds or secure collaborators.

Grant Writing
Grants are a key opportunity to get non-dilutive funding to keep your startup going, however, the proposals are tedious and time consuming. You can leverage a grants EIR for help with writing, researching options, assessing your fit, organizing, and editing proposals to increase the likelihood of getting funding.

Skills Labs
The Skills Labs are virtual sessions that provide training on numerous  topics and often augment the skills of your EIR to give you a deeper coaching bench.


C-Level Matching
Your founding team is one of the biggest criteria when pitching to investors. Tap into a large network and unique matching process that can help you to build a strong C-suite. 

The EIR program comes with a large network of support that encompasses the many aspects of launching your own company. The program is for early-stage climate technology companies that have a clear benefit to New York State. Learn more and apply for support here.

The Clean Energy Internship Program 

The Clean Energy Internship Program provides funding to approved businesses to hire interns looking to break into the clean energy workforce. The goal of the program is to help businesses working on clean energy related products create a pipeline of talent to help accelerate the technological solutions needed to address the climate crisis. 

For employers with up to 100 employees, the grant will cover 90% of an intern’s wage up to $17.00 an hour. The internship must last a minimum of 8 weeks and be a minimum of 80 hours. The total hours eligible for reimbursement per internship is capped at 480 hours, or the total of intern hours completed within a 12-month period.

If an intern is not taking any classes during the internship, the maximum NYSERDA reimbursement is 40 hours per week, on average during the internship. While an intern is taking one or more classes, NYSERDA will only reimburse up to 18 hours.

This is a great opportunity to get an extra set of hands to help out with any aspect of your business. 

You can apply for support here.

There’s Always a Variety of Funding Opportunities

NYSERDA is a leader in initiatives facilitating the electrification of New York State and beyond. They keep a current list of funding opportunities that ranges from training and audits to a variety of energy and community related initiatives. It’s a good habit to scroll through the list every quarter to see if there is something your company is or has plans to do that is covered. You can find the current list of funding opportunities here.