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SunShot Incubator Program

The SunShot Incubator Virtual Showcase took place on March 4, 2015, featuring one-minute presentations from current Incubator awardees. Read the transcript and download the slides.

The Incubator program provides early-stage assistance to help startup companies cross technological barriers to commercialization while encouraging private sector investment. Since the program was launched in 2007, $138 million in government funds has leveraged more than $3 billion in venture capital and private equity investment, demonstrating a ratio of nearly $22 in subsequent private sector support for every $1 of federal support.

A total of 97 startup companies have received 121 awards to participate in the SunShot Incubator program since it began in 2007. These DOE solar projects are accelerating technological innovation for:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) technologies
  • Concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies
  • Power electronics
  • Balance-of-system (BOS) hardware
  • Balance-of-system non-hardware (Soft Costs).

On November 16, 2015, the Incubator program was combined with other funding programs into the SunShot Technology to Market funding program with the goal of bringing disruptive innovation to the solar industry in the near term that will take root in the U.S.


The SunShot Incubator program aims to shorten the time between laboratory-scale proof of concept and prototype development and accelerate the process for companies to transition pre-commercial prototypes through the pilot stage into full-scale manufacture. Most projects are cooperative agreements that last from 12 to 18 months with payment made upon completion and verification of aggressive project deliverables.

Displays a flow chart showing the SunShot Incubator process.


The SunShot Incubator program uses a five-tiered approach to accomplish its objectives.

For Hardware Development
  • Tier 0 is to accelerate the transition from a proof-of-concept of all critical components to an early stage functional prototype;
  • Tier 1 is to accelerate the transition of early stage functional prototype to manufacturing and commercially relevant prototype made in the lab; and
  • Tier 2 is to develop the manufacturing processes and equipment to move from fully developed lab prototype to pilot-scale production.
For Non Hardware Development
  • Tier 1S is to accelerate the transition of proof-of-concept or business plan to alpha capability and early customer trials; and
  • Tier 2S is to transition alpha capability through beta launch and full commercialization.

The Incubator program was originally created to support innovative solar startups working to develop and launch transformative PV technologies. Over the past several years, the program has evolved to take an all-inclusive approach to significantly lower the total installed cost of solar energy systems. Visit the Financial Opportunities page for more information about future funding rounds.


 Soft Costs
  • Aurora Solar, Inc.
  • Clean Energy Collective
  • Demeter Power Group
  • EnergySage
  • Faraday
  • Genability
  • kWh Analytics
  • Mosaic
  • Sighten
  • SolarNexus
  • Sungage Financial
  • Sunlayar, Inc.
  • Sunrun
  • Sunvestment Group
  • Village Power Finance
  • Intrinsiq Materials, Inc.
  • Picasolar
 Systems Integration
  • Infinite Invention
  • Qado Energy
  • Renewable Power Conversion
  • SafeConnect Solar
  • SineWatts
  • Stem
  • SunEdison (Formerly Solar Grid Storage)
  • SunPower, Inc.
 Concentrating Solar Power
  • Norwich Technologies
  • Solaflect Energy
  • Sundog Solar Technoloy
     Soft Costs
    • Clean Energy Experts
    • Clean Power Finance (2012 - Tier 1)
    • Clean Power Finance (2012 - Tier 2)
    • Clean Power Resesarch
    • concept3D
    • EnergySage
    • Folsom Labs
    • Genability
    • Geostellar
    • kWh Analytics (2013)
    • Simply Civic
    • Solar Census
    • Sun Number
    • Tigo Energy
    • 1366 Technologies (2009)
    • 1366 Technologies (2008)
    • Abound Solar
    • Alta Devices
    • AmberWave
    • Applied Novel Devices
    • Ascent Solar Technologies
    • Bandgap Engineering
    • Banyan Energy
    • Blue Square Energy
    • Caelux
    • CaliSolar
    • Cellink
    • Crystal Solar (2010)
    • Crystal Solar (2009)
    • Enfocus Engineering
    • Enki Technology
    • EPIR Technologies
    • Innovalight
    • Lightwave Power
    • Luna Innovations
    • MicroLink Devices (2009)
    • MicroLink Devices (2007)
    • Picasolar
    • Plextronics
    • PrimeStar Solar
    • REhnu
    • Semprius
    • Sinewatts
    • Skyline Solar
    • Solar Junction
    • Solaria
    • Solasta
    • Solexant
    • Solexel
    • SolFocus
    • SoloPower
    • SpectraWatt
    • Spire Semiconductor
    • Stion
    • Tetra Sun
    • TiSol
    • Vanguard Solar
     Systems Integration
    • Brittmore Group
    • Infinite Invention
    • Princeton Power Systems
    • Qado Energy
    • Qbotix
    • Renewable Power Conversion
    • Seeo
    • SMASHsolar
    • Tigo Energy
     Concentrating Solar Power
    • Halotechnics
    • Solaflect Energy

    Learn more about SunShot's other technology to market funding programs.