- ABOUT MassCEC
MassCEC makes direct equity and venture debt investments in Massachusetts-based clean energy companies. Equity investments average approximately $500,000 in a Seed, Series A, or Series B financing round, with venture debt investments of $100,000 to $1 million to help Massachusetts-based cleantech companies grow, reach key milestones, and create jobs. Applications for these investments are accepted on a rolling basis.
Visit the following link for more information about our Seed Investments Program, a two-stage investment program that provides up to $250,000 in convertible notes to pre-seed or seed-stage clean energy startups.
This Program Is Currently OPEN
Only Massachusetts-based applicants that fit the MassCEC definition of “clean energy” (defined in the MassCEC enabling legislation here) are eligible. Typically, we require at least three of the following four offices be based in Massachusetts:
- Company Headquarters
- Primary research and development
- Primary sales and marketing
- Primary manufacturing.
Step 1: Contact the MassCEC Investments Team to set up an initial meeting. Please provide a pitch deck with your initial outreach.
Step 2: Pitch to the MassCEC investments team.
Step 3: If your company may be a fit for a MassCEC investment, staff will request and internally review due diligence materials as part of an iterative process.
Step 4: Pending a positive diligence outcome, pitch to MassCEC's CEO and other executive-level staff.
Step 5: Negotiate deal terms and begin legal documentation.
- If an investment is less than $100,000 it must be approved by MassCEC's CEO.
- If the investment is over $100,000 the Investments team presents the investment to MassCEC Investment Committee at the bi-monthly meeting for approval.
- If the investment is greater than $100,000 and less than $250,000 it must be approved by a member of the MassCEC Board of Directors Audit Subcommittee.
- If the investment is greater than or equal to $250,000 it must be approved by the MassCEC Board of Directors at a board meeting.
Step 8: Following Audit Subcommittee or Board of Directors approval, finalize legal documentation and close deal.
Step 9: Ongoing portfolio monitoring and involvement.
What is the typical size of a MassCEC equity investment?
The average size of a MassCEC equity investment is $500,000, but investments have ranged anywhere from $100,000 - $1,500,000. Additionally, MassCEC reserves up to $500,000 per company for aggregate follow-on investments. Our financial support is designed to decrease over time in accordance with MassCEC's follow-on policy.
What is the typical size of a MassCEC venture debt investment?
MassCEC's venture debt investments can be anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000.
How does MassCEC compare to a typical private investor?
As an industry-specific publicly-funded investor focused solely on cleantech, MassCEC acts as a strategic, value-add investor. We seek to be actively involved in our portfolio companies through board or board observer roles in order to bring as much value to the company as possible. As a public agency deeply involved in the cleantech ecosystem, we can also offer a variety of resources to our portfolio companies beyond financial support by leveraging MassCEC’s other various programs and contacts.
Contrary to most traditional investors, MassCEC’s role as a public investor is particularly prominent in the early stages of a company’s development, and tends to lessen over time as the private sector increases its involvement in the company. This is also reflected in our follow-on policy, as MassCEC’s relative level of financial support tends to decrease over time.
MassCEC makes its investments alongside other private investors, so we invest on standard commercial terms and seek to make a financial return with our investments. However, financial return is only one of several goals, and MassCEC seeks to optimize overall impact with its investments. Some examples of this impact include advancement of technology, job creation and long-term cost reduction to the ratepayer.
Finally, due to its funding structure, MassCEC can provide more “patient capital” than a typical investor. While we always seek investments with exit opportunities, we do not have stringent timelines for those exits.
Additional details on MassCEC’s investment policy and strategy can be found here.
What does the “significant Massachusetts presence” requirement mean?
Your company must have a majority of the following offices based in Massachusetts (as applicable) in order to have a “significant Massachusetts presence”:
- Company headquarters
- Primary research and development operations
- Primary sales and marketing office
- Primary manufacturing operations
Does MassCEC ever lead rounds?
Yes, we have led rounds in the past and are happy to make that contribution when it makes sense.
How long does it take for MassCEC to close an investment?
Based on the process outlined above, it typically takes anywhere from three to six months from our first meeting with a company to close an investment.
If my company receives an investment from MassCEC, what type of reporting requirements must I comply with?
As a publicly-funded agency, MassCEC is required to report on the impact of its investments. In order to do so, MassCEC requires that its portfolio companies complete a semi-annual request for information, in which MassCEC requests data around employment, external investment, patent filings and issuances, and financial information, among other information. MassCEC reports on this data in aggregate only, and confidential company-specific information can be exempted from the state public records law under the Massachusetts General Legislature, Chapter 23J, Section 2(k).
What if my company decides to move outside of Massachusetts after receiving an investment?
If your company no longer maintains a significant Massachusetts presence as defined above after receiving a MassCEC investment, the investment is subject to redemption by MassCEC.
How does MassCEC treat my confidential information?
An exemption to the Public Records Law may apply to certain records, including materials that fall under certain categories under a statutory or common law exemption, including the limited exemption at Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 23J, Section 2(k) regarding certain types of confidential information submitted to MassCEC by an applicant for any form of assistance. More information on the types of information that MassCEC considers confidential can be found here.
MassCEC’s Invesment Program was created in 2009 to help Massachusetts-based clean energy companies grow their businesses in the Commonwealth.
Program goals include:
- Helping early-stage companies advance their technologies through the commercialization stage
- Leveraging outside capital by being part of an established funding round
- Investing in companies likely to create sustainable jobs and generate a financial return
- Supporting technologies that produce clean energy in an economical way, reducing costs to the ratepayer as well as volatility of energy costs over the course of time
- Fill a funding gap by offering loans to early-stage companies at competitive rates