Accelerator Funding Program

The Challenge: Grow the Massachusetts Clean Energy Startup Ecosystem

Accelerators attract early-stage cleantech startups to Massachusetts, promote their growth, and improve their chances of success. Their graduates represent a pool of companies that are further along the commercialization path and can more easily attract private funding. Accelerators depend on grants and sponsorship support to conduct their valuable programs, which are highly complementary to MassCEC's mission.

About the Accelerator Funding Program

MassCEC has partnered with accelerator programs since 2011. This formal Accelerator Funding Program was launched in September 2019 to expand the pool of cleantech accelerator programs across Massachusetts and coordinate MassCEC’s various funding activities for accelerators in a consistent fashion. 

The Accelerator Funding Program provides grants to Massachusetts accelerators for specific activities with the goal of growing the cleantech innovation ecosystem and commercializing early stage cleantech startups. Grants fund accelerator activities, including operations and management expenses, events and educational series, growing strategic clusters, prizes, and scholarships for their current cohort of startups.

Grants are up to $120,000 per year and award payments are typically tied to accelerator deliverables and to startup scholarships and support.

Status
Closed
Status Details
Re-opening October 3, 2022
Award Potential
$120,000
Application Deadline
January 2, 2023
Questions? Contact

Funding Schedule

The application deadline for the Accelerator Funding Program’s next round of grants is January 2, 2023.

This timeline is subject to change at MassCEC's discretion.

Process Step Timing

Application period opens

October 3, 2022

Proposals due

January 2, 2023

Anticipated notification of award

March, 2023

Who's Eligible

 

  • Applicants must be accelerator programs based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and/or include a large percentage of Massachusetts-based startups among their current participants.
  • Applicants must host participants that are cleantech startup companies.  These companies' primary product or business strategy must meet the statutory definition of “clean energy” pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23J, Section 1, as amended, namely “…advanced and applied technologies that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of energy for non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to: energy efficiency; demand response; energy conservation and those technologies powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, geothermal energy, including networked geothermal and deep geothermal energy, hydrogen produced by non-fossil fuel sources and methods, alcohol, fuel cells, fusion energy or any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel…” Technologies related to coal, oil, nuclear power, biomass, and natural gas (except where used in fuel cells) will not be considered clean energy for purposes of this RFP.
  • Applicants are not required to exclusively host cleantech startups in their accelerators, but the accelerator must have a cleantech element or track.

For full Program details, please refer to the Accelerator Funding Program Request for Proposals.

Apply

Application Process

Applicants should complete and submit the applicable pre-formatted application template, either:

  1. Accelerator Funding Request Form for Returning ApplicantsAccelerators are eligible to complete and submit this abbreviated application form if they have received more than three Accelerator Funding grants from MassCEC over the past four years and completed all of the associated milestones and deliverables associated with each of those grants.
  2. Accelerator Funding "New" Application FormAccelerators that have received fewer than four grants from MassCEC in the past are required to submit this application form.

For full Program details, please refer to the Accelerator Funding Program Request for Proposals.

 

 

Application Materials

Please note that we are providing the FY22 RFP and application forms for reference until we post the new materials for FY23 on October 3, 2022.

 

Send completed application to: innovationecosystem@masscec.com

FAQs

What is an accelerator?

“Accelerators” run programs that accept early-stage companies on a competitive basis for a pre-determined period of time. Participating startups gain certain business and technology advancement through the accelerator program. The programs typically work with a cohort of startups for a fixed period and culminate in a pitch event or demo day where the startups are eligible to compete for cash or in-kind prizes. Accelerators help mitigate market barriers by connecting startups with mentors, investors, corporate partners, and customers through organized events and workshops.

What is the definition of a cleantech startup?

“Cleantech Startups” are companies' whose primary product or business strategy meets the statutory definition of “clean energy” pursuant to M.G.L. c. 23J, Section 1, as amended, namely “…advanced and applied technologies that significantly reduce or eliminate the use of energy for non-renewable sources, including, but not limited to: energy efficiency; demand response; energy conservation and those technologies powered in whole or in part by the sun, wind, water, geothermal energy, including networked geothermal and deep geothermal energy, hydrogen produced by non-fossil fuel sources and methods, alcohol, fuel cells, fusion energy or any renewable, non-depletable or recyclable fuel…”

Technologies related to coal, oil, nuclear power, biomass, and natural gas (except where used in fuel cells) will not be considered clean energy for purposes of this RFP.

When should I expect a response from MassCEC after submitting my Accelerator Funding Program application?

For the FY23 Accelerator Funding Program, MassCEC anticipates notifying applicants on award decisions in March 2023. Staff will typically be in touch with follow-up questions shortly after an application is received.