Clean energy innovators and entrepreneurs help drive American economic growth and competitiveness through job creation and technology development. However, many innovators and entrepreneurs face challenges in gathering the resources they need to build their businesses. That’s where clean energy incubators come in. Incubators work with early-stage companies to provide lab and office space, engage potential customers and investors, and develop their business models. They play a pivotal role in strengthening the American innovation and entrepreneurial communities.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy (NIICE) initiative to increase coordination and collaboration among the incubators across the country and develop best practices to raise incubator performance standards. This effort enabled incubators to provide more efficient and effective services to early-stage U.S. companies.
Connecting Incubators Across the United States
Through NIICE, DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) funded the first nationwide support organization to connect and build a community of clean energy-focused startup incubators. The Incubatenergy Network, led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is a nationwide community of clean energy-focused incubators that have supported almost 500 companies to date. Incubatenergy provides a platform for clean energy incubators to communicate information and best practices in order to better support entrepreneurs.
Companies supported by the network have collectively raised more than $1 billion in follow-on funding and generated $330 million in revenue. The national network also has significantly impacted economic growth, supporting the creation of nearly 3,000 direct jobs. Incubatenergy provides robust online resources to support and strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship communities across the United States.