Cleantech Open Application Deadline Approaches
E2Tech, Maine Technology Institute and Governor’s Energy Office encourage more Maine firms to participate in national cleantech accelerator, Cleantech Open
With clean technology -- in fields as diverse as chemicals, waste, wastewater, fisheries, wood products, and renewable energy -- among the country’s fastest growing economic sectors, entrepreneurs in Maine are being offered financial incentives and logistical support to compete in the nation’s largest “cleantech” startup accelerator program, the Cleantech Open.
The Cleantech Open seeks to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs in early stages of development, leading to a greater chance of success. Support for Maine cleantech entrepreneurs to participate in the Open is made available by E2Tech, the Maine Technology Institute (MTI), and the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO).
“Early stage investment into cleantech or ‘climate-tech’ is growing fast, surpassing $16 billion in 2019, but relatively few companies in Maine participate in the sector,” said Marty Grohman, Executive Director of E2Tech. “That’s why this consortium of Maine energy, technology and business leaders are seeking to change that by supporting involvement in the Cleantech Open.”
“Accelerator programs like Cleantech Open play a vital role in supporting and hastening the commercialization efforts of promising Maine clean energy ventures,” said Brian Whitney, President of the Maine Technology Institute. “MTI is pleased to provide financial support to reduce the cost of participating for qualified startup teams.”
Both Maine’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy and the recent Strengthening Maine’s Clean Energy Economy report identify cleantech as a growth opportunity for Maine that will help the state grow its innovation economy and meet its nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.
"Innovation is a key driver of Maine's clean energy economy, and events like the Cleantech Open will showcase the extraordinary opportunities that our state's entrepreneurs are creating in this sector," said Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor's Energy Office. "We're proud to partner with E2Tech and MTI to support clean energy startups and further establish Maine as a national leader in renewable energy and addressing climate change."
Last year, two Maine startups – BaselineES of Yarmouth and Foothill Fuels of Portland – were among 47 entrants in the Cleantech Open. This year, eight Maine startups have already contacted E2Tech about participating, and an informal pitch contest was won by Acadian Composite Materials, which makes structural insulated panels from recycled plastic bottles. Other participants in the pitch contest included Ropeless.us, which makes lobster traps that don’t need a line, eliminating whale entanglement concerns; Biofine Developments Northeast, which plans to make fuels and chemicals from wood chips; Medallion Bioplastics, which plans to license a UMaine developed process to make plastics from wood waste; Standard Biocarbon, which will take advantage of EU carbon markets for biochar; Finsulate, which makes a marine antifouling coating that doesn’t shed microplastics; and Avi Guard, which makes a composite weather cover that improves the efficiency of heat pumps. All eight companies are great examples of the potential of this market sector, and more are sought and may be eligible for a scholarship from MTI to cover participation costs.
The deadline to apply to this year’s Cleantech Open is Sunday, April 18, at midnight. Potential participants should be preparing their application now.
Who should apply: Emerging or existing cleantech startups in the pre-customer or design phase; startups seeking Series A funding
When: Apply by midnight on Sunday April 18