As national environmental protections are deregulated and challenges presented by climate change become more widely recognized, Vermont positions itself as the state where climate change and resource renewal can spark business growth and economic development.
A national climate economy innovation summit held in early September in Burlington, Vermont welcomed entrepreneurs from across North America interested in building an economy in Vermont that embraces the opportunities presented by climate change challenges. Vermont is a leader in both sustainability and self-sufficiency, and multiple stakeholders with diverse perspectives are working together to build capacity for transformative climate change solutions that create jobs for Vermont communities.
“We’re building a cluster of climate innovation companies and we offer an entrepreneurial support system that includes access to business planning services, networks, and growth capital—in a state known for its high quality of life in an idyllic and recreational setting in the Green Mountains,” says Geoff Robertson of Accel-VT—a fast-paced, climate economy business accelerator.
Startup or seed stage ventures from across North America interested in solving one of the most pressing electric grid issues facing the U.S.—integration of distributed renewable energy, efficiency, and storage technologies with the grid—are invited to apply to Accel-VT. Participants will be selected based on their ability to help solve the challenges related to the monitoring and control of distributed energy (e.g., storage, electric vehicles, solar, community scale wind, combined heat and power) to improve their value while providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to all customers.
“Vermont is an energy innovation laboratory, with our state’s utilities serving as catalysts for leading edge change, setting the example for many other places around the globe,” says Neale Lunderville of Burlington Electric Department. “All of Vermont’s 20 utilities – electric, gas, transmission, and efficiency – are sponsors of Accel-VT, which creates a unique opportunity for the selected Accel-VT companies to launch, pilot, and partner their innovations in a real-world environment.”
Accel-VT participants are guided through the VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital. The curriculum is delivered over a 12-week period in both Vermont and virtually, paid for by Accel-VT sponsors. Industry expertise, a network of established climate economy enterprises, and access to growth capital are available to all Accel-VT participants.
Vermont is home to dozens of existing industry leaders such as Green Mountain Power, Dynapower, and SunCommon who serve as mentors and customers to early stage entrepreneurs. A broad range of educational institutions provide employee talent and Vermont’s small size ensures accessibility to state government officials and business advisors. Vermont’s close proximity to Boston, New York, and Montreal enables Accel-VT businesses to access significant capital from venture capitalists and angel investors to grow the climate economy.
Details and application at www.Accel-VT.com.