Awards program aims to accelerate innovation in clean energy and
DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Wells
Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) today announced it has
awarded $1 million in grants to support 13 projects that address gaps in
the development and commercialization of clean energy (cleantech) and
agriculture technology (agtech).
All 13 projects are affiliated with IN2 Channel Partners, a
network of incubators, accelerators and university programs that refer
start-up companies to IN2 and are critical players in IN2’s
efforts to advance a robust cleantech ecosystem.
The awards are competitive grants to fund efforts to advance sustainable
technology solutions that lead to partnerships, capital flow, job
creation and sharing of best practices across the ecosystem.
“Ultimately, the goal with our Channel
Partner Awards program is to create a strong, collaborative
ecosystem of support across the U.S.,” said Trish Cozart, IN2
program manager at the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory. “We are funding these partners to
continue their support of early-stage entrepreneurs and each other, as
they create partnerships and share knowledge and learnings.”
IN2 Channel Partner Awards recipients and
(Memphis) to create a common framework for connecting startups
within its incubation program to historical and real-time farm data.
(St. Louis) to build a network and convene a strong community of
Missouri growers who will provide the “voice of the customer” and test,
validate and provide feedback on innovation solutions that meet their
needs on their land.
Mellon University (Pittsburgh) with several partners, to
build a mature, supportive network and differentiate, elevate and
amplify the energy, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in
Open (Los Angeles) to seed its accelerator model in
partner metropolitan areas and scale early-stage startup support
resources, curricula and tools.
Road (Berkeley, Calif.) to pilot and identify knowledge
gaps with its “Founders Playbook,” an online repository of resources for
technology and energy entrepreneurs looking to grow a company from early
concept to market impact.
Center (St. Louis) to expand its co-working office and
lab space and accelerate the commercialization of research innovations
and new business formation in ag-related industries.
(Fort Collins, Colo.) to research and address challenges related to
artificial intelligence and Colorado’s transportation and energy
industries, and to research future artificial intelligence applications
Discovery District (Toronto) in partnership with ACRE
(Brooklyn, N.Y.), to optimize the NewtonX
Access Knowledge search engine tool that connects startup ventures
with appropriate subject matter experts to help them quickly and
efficiently find answers to complex questions.
(Oakland, Calif.) to develop a platform to formalize a process that
would allow for a broader network of investors to share deal flow,
co-investment opportunities and follow-on funding opportunities.
University (Houston) to conduct an eight-month
accelerator program for university-based cleantech startups and
early-stage ventures to prepare them for future incubation programs and
successfully launching their businesses.
Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center (Warren, Ohio) to build out
the Appalachia regional cluster to develop a yearly event focused on
energy storage and IoT.
Technology Incubator at University of Texas–Austin (Austin,
Texas) to develop a sustainable food system cluster in Central Texas
that provides a proving ground for technologies driving greater
efficiency; access and affordability in production, distribution and
logistics; and point-of-sale and waste elimination.
(Portland, Oregon) to launch its Impact Fund that is focused on
filling a critical capital gap for seed-stage cleantech startups in the
“The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator is proud to provide additional
support for the IN2 Channel Partners in their efforts to
accelerate the development and commercialization of clean technology and
support of early-stage entrepreneurs,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean
Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer with Wells Fargo.
“These are the leaders who are really disrupting the industry and
The IN2 Channel Partner Awards program was established in
2017 with $5 million of committed funding from Wells Fargo to be
distributed over four years. Since inception, $2.1 million in
competitive and non-competitive grants has supported more than 74
events, strategic meetings and trainings, and 21 larger strategic
initiatives involving 23 organizations. In the pilot year of the awards
program, funded projects have engaged more than 1,800 participants
(entrepreneurs, industry and academic representatives and others),
created nearly 200 jobs, led to more than $18.3 million in follow-on
funding for startups involved and earned $812,000 in matching funds from
For more information on the Channel Partner Awards program, please visit www.in2ecosystem.com.
About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million technology
incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.
Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to
speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology
entrepreneurs. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting
scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings,
IN2 expanded its focus in 2018 to advance technologies that address the
interconnection of food, water and energy. Companies selected for
participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive
funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts
at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and ongoing
connections to organizations across value chains. For more information,
About Wells Fargo
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approximately 259,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three
households in the United States. In 2018, Wells Fargo donated $444
million to 11,000 nonprofits. Also in 2018, Wells Fargo team members
volunteered 2 million hours and collectively donated $75.4 million to
nonprofit and community organizations during the company’s annual
Community Support Campaign. Wells Fargo’s corporate social
responsibility efforts are focused on three strategic priorities:
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