Cleantech Open Seeks Entrepreneurs for 2013 Accelerator

The Cleantech Open is a non-profit organization that runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator.  The organization is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Accelerator.  

The deadline for submitting an application is May 1, 2013.  If submitted by Wednesday, April 10, an Early Bird discount lowers the entry fee to $90 for Professional Teams, and to $40 for Student Teams.  Complete application guidelines can be found on the Cleantech Open website.

The Accelerator fosters promising startups in cleantech fields through a six-month program that includes cutting-edge entrepreneur training and mentoring (including in IP!), client and partner opportunities, and funding connections. 

In May, once all the applications are in, each region evaluates the applicants and selects its 2013 class of Accelerator participants.  From June through November, these startups receive training from a broad cross-section of corporations, educational institutions, industry experts, investors and mentors that participate in the program.  This includes a comprehensive training experience provided through the intensive curriculum at the Cleantech Open National Academies, where more than 175 entrepreneurs gather to share ideas and learn how to scale their business.

After winners are selected by each of Cleantech Open’s eight regions, the entire class of startups convenes at the Global Forum to exhibit and pitch their business ideas to a panel of investors and industry leaders.  Expert judges select the overall winners, including the National Grand Prize Winner (which receives $200,000 in seed investment and services) from the eight category winners.  A separate panel of judges selects the National Sustainability Prize winner.

The Cleantech Open is designed specifically for cleantech entrepreneurs who:

  • Have an innovative cleantech idea and need help getting it funded
  • Have a prototype but need to take the next steps to commercialization
  • Need help developing an effective investor pitch and introductions to the right investors

Innovators who are selected to participate in the Cleantech Open can expect to receive:

  • Training through two National Academy events, national webinars, and regional workshops and training events.
  • One-on-one mentoring from 1,000+ participating mentors across the United States, and through dozens of regional business clinics.
  • Access to capital through the Cleantech Open network of strategic investors and at focused “investor pitch panels,” networking receptions, and the popular Investor Connect events.
  • Showcasing and press exposure of their technologies, products, and services at five major Regional Innovation Summits and at the Global Forum in November 2013.
  • A collection of free resources and lifetime membership to Cleantech Open’s alumni program, upon graduating.

The Cleantech Open has consistently proven it offers a recipe for entrepreneurial success.  Since business leaders in Silicon Valley founded the organization in 2006, the Cleantech Open has established itself as the leading force for accelerating cleantech entrepreneurs.

Over the past eight years, more than 700 startups have participated in Accelerator program, and nearly half of these have gone on to raise external capital that now totals more than $800 million. Internationally, cleantech startups from 33 countries have participated in Cleantech Open programs via the Global Ideas Competition.

For 2013, the Cleantech Open Accelerator covers 50 states across 8 regions. It will hold more than 100 regional and national events in over 25 different cities to unite its 1,500 professionals, many of whom are passionate volunteers, in their effort to find, fund and foster tomorrow’s cleantech success stories.

The organization expects between 175 and 200 entrepreneurs will participate in this year’s accelerator — and the website is now accepting applications.  This year, to align itself with industry trends, the Accelerator has been expanded to include a wider scope of products and technologies.

Personally, I’m excited to report that I have recently taken over the role of San Diego Metro Director for the Cleantech Open.  So you can feel free to contact me directly with any questions via email at

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.