Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator to fund clean-tech startups
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) has selected the fourth round of clean-tech and energy efficiency startup companies to join the program. IN2 is a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The five startups join 20 other early-stage companies that have received support to address energy challenges in commercial buildings, which currently account for more than 40 percent of energy usage in the U.S.
Each of the five early-stage companies will receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding to test, validate, and advance their technologies with a network of experts at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s research facility in Golden, Colorado. After validation in the lab, participating companies may have the opportunity to beta test on a Wells Fargo property or with a strategic program partner.
Portfolio companies selected for IN2’s fourth round are developing technologies designed to advance energy efficiency in commercial buildings. They are:
• 75F (Burnsville, Minnesota). Easy-to-setup HVAC controls system with the potential to cut install time and costs by up to 80 percent, compared to traditional controls systems.
• Ladybug Tools (Baltimore). Computer applications that support the design process for sustainable buildings and net-zero districts seeking to employ cutting-edge energy technologies.
• Next Energy Technologies Inc. (Santa Barbara, California). Low-cost, printable, transparent energy-harvesting coatings that are seamlessly integrated into windows to provide onsite renewable power.
• UbiQD Inc. (Los Alamos, New Mexico). Nanomaterials for energy harvesting that aim to provide a simple, scalable, low-cost, and aesthetically pleasing approach to solar windows.
• Yotta (Austin, Texas). Modular energy storage integrated with solar, designed to reduce cost and expand development of energy storage and grid resiliency on commercial buildings.
“This initiative began four years ago to help cutting-edge, clean-technology startups refine and further develop their technology to speed the path to market and improve sustainability in commercial buildings,” said Ramsay Huntley, clean technology and innovation philanthropy program officer for Wells Fargo. “Our $30 million program has invited 25 startups to participate, and those companies have gone on to collectively raise more than $100 million in external follow-on funding, making the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator one of the premier launch pads for advancing clean technologies in the U.S.”
Launched in 2014, the IN2 facilitates the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies. With resources from Wells Fargo and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, IN2 provides funding, technical assistance, and real-world beta testing opportunities that help companies understand their customers. Founded initially to address energy challenges in commercial buildings, the program recently expanded its focus to include the interconnection of food, energy, and water.
“We are excited to welcome these five innovative companies and look forward to helping them tackle sustainability and energy efficiency challenges and speed their path to market,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Companies participating in previous rounds are already demonstrating their technologies in real-world applications, receiving follow-on funding and being acquired by successful corporations. This sustained success demonstrates the value of our program and enhances our ability to attract the highest quality applicants and companies moving forward.”
As an invitation-only program, IN2 finds and selects companies through its channel partners, a curated network of incubators, accelerators, and universities across the U.S. that refer startups to the program. Once referred, companies participate in a highly competitive application and selection process to determine which will be invited into the next round of participants.
For a complete list of IN2 portfolio companies and channel partners, visit in2ecosystem.com.