The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator has awarded $1mn in grants to support 13 projects that address gaps in the development and commercialisation of clean energy (cleantech) and agriculture technology (agtech).
All 13 projects are affiliated with IN2 Channel Partners, a network of incubators, accelerators and university programs that refer start-up companies to IN2 and seen as critical players in IN2’s efforts to advance a “robust cleantech ecosystem”.
The awards are described as “competitive grants to fund efforts to advance sustainable technology solutions that lead to partnerships, capital flow, job creation and sharing of best practices across the ecosystem”.
Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory commented: “Ultimately, the goal with our Channel Partner Awards program is to create a strong, collaborative ecosystem of support across the US. We are funding these partners to continue their support of early-stage entrepreneurs and each other, as they create partnerships and share knowledge and learnings.”
Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer with Wells Fargo commented: “The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator is proud to provide additional support for the IN2 Channel Partners in their efforts to accelerate the development and commercialization of clean technology and support of early-stage entrepreneurs. These are the leaders who are really disrupting the industry and driving innovation.”
The IN2 Channel Partner Awards program was established in 2017 with $5mn of committed funding from Wells Fargo to be distributed over four years. Since inception, $2.1mn in competitive and non-competitive grants has supported more than 74 events, strategic meetings and trainings, and 21 larger strategic initiatives involving 23 organisations.
In the pilot year of the awards program, funded projects have engaged more than 1,800 participants (entrepreneurs, industry and academic representatives and others), created nearly 200 jobs, led to more than $18.3mn in follow-on funding for startups involved and earned $812,000 in matching funds from outside organisations.