MassCEC’s Accelerator Funding Program awards up to $120,000 in grant funding to accelerator programs and scholarships to support their clean energy startups. Successful applicants should fill a gap in the market and be part of an impactful and balanced mix of accelerators across the state.

To participate in the program, accelerator programs must be based in Massachusetts and/or have a large percentage of Massachusetts-based startups in their cohort. Applicants must have startups that satisfy the definition of “clean energy” (defined in the MassCEC Enabling Legislation here). Total grants range from $30,000 to $120,000. Individual startup scholarships are capped at $5,000 per scholarship with a total cap of $40,000 for scholarships.

MassCEC accepts applications from accelerators on a rolling basis. Interested parties must submit the following documents to innovationecosystem@masscec.com with the subject line “Accelerator Funding Program – [Accelerator Name]”:

 

□ Attachment A: Application Form with Supporting Documentation

        □ Resumes of key team members

        □ List of clean energy innovation companies

        □ Startup testimonials

        □ Breakdown of revenue spent by category (i.e. operations, events, etc.)

□ Attachment B: Authorized Applicants Signature and Acceptance Form

 

It is strongly preferred that the application be sent as one document as a searchable PDF file. Applicants should answer the questions as clearly and succinctly as possible. The application is available for download here.

If scholarship money is awarded for participating clean tech companies, is the organization or are the individual companies tasked with the accounting and management of the scholarship with the company, assuming there will be an end report with reimbursement of any unused funds?

MassCEC distributes the total grant funds (operations and scholarships) to the accelerator itself. The accelerator program staff are responsible for selecting the scholarship recipients (with MassCEC’s approval) and then disbursing the funds. For the selection process, MassCEC will provide an application form (1-2 pages) that the start-ups will complete so we can verify their clean energy and Massachusetts eligibility. After MassCEC verifies the eligibility, the accelerator program staff will submit a certification form provided by MassCEC that certifies the scholarship funds have been disbursed. At the end of the accelerator program we also have 2-3 PowerPoint slides that the start-ups will need to complete, facilitated and coordinate by the accelerator staff. The slides contain questions regarding the outcomes of their participation in the accelerator and the use of MassCEC’s scholarship funds.

MassCEC views accelerators as strategic partners that offer complimentary niche benefits to grow and support the cleantech innovation ecosystem. MassCEC has partnered with accelerator programs since 2011, but extended the program in 2018 to provide funding opportunities to accelerator programs across the state to support accelerator operations and scholarships.

The goals of the Accelerator Funding Program are to:

  • Attract and commercializing cleantech startups to accelerate the growth of early stage Massachusetts cleantech startups, thereby improving the chance of their success and expanding the pipeline of innovation at the early stage;
  • Create jobs in Massachusetts to support and create economic activity and sustainable, quality green jobs in the Commonwealth;
  • Help attract external capital to cleantech to leverage outside capital to support clean technologies, projects, and companies through all stages of growth, from both private and public sources; and
  • Fill funding gaps to serve as a financing source, particularly in areas that are not currently well-served by the market.