Wells Fargo Incubator Awards $1 Million to Address CleanTech, Ag Gaps

Wells Fargo Incubator Awards $1 Million to Address CleanTech, Ag Gaps

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) has announced grants totaling $1 million to thirteen projects focused on addressing development and commercialization gaps in the clean energy (cleantech) and agriculture technology (agtech) fields.

Launched in 2014, IN2 works to accelerate the journey to market for seed-stage cleantech entrepreneurs. Program participants receive technical support, validation, networking opportunities, and up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding.

Awarded through the incubator's Channel Partner Awards program, the grants will support efforts to advance sustainable technology solutions that lead to partnerships, capital flow, job creation, and the sharing of best practices across the cleantech and agtech ecosystems. The grantees are affiliates of IN2 Channel Partners, a network of university programs, incubators, and accelerators that refer start-up companies to IN2 and assist in their development.

Recipients include VertueLab in Portland, Oregon, which will use its grant to launch an impact fund focused on addressing the capital gap that affects early-stage cleantech startups in the Pacific Northwest; Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which will work with partners to build a network focused on differentiating, elevating, and amplifying innovation and entrepreneurship in the region; and the Helix Center in St. Louis, which will expand its co-working office and lab space and accelerate research and new business formation in ag-related industries.

"Ultimately, the goal with our Channel Partner Awards program is to create a strong, collaborative ecosystem of support across the U.S.," said Trish Cozart, IN2 program manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "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."