Wells Fargo has announced a $10 million initiative aimed at fostering the development of early stage clean technologies for commercial buildings.
Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administrated by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Innovation Incubator (IN2) program will fund clean technology startups identified by the bank's network of technical, financial, and industry advisers at research laboratories, universities, and regional accelerator programs across the country. In 2015, the first of three cohorts of companies will receive up to $250,000 for their business development needs, research, and testing support at NREL's facility in Golden, Colorado, as well as coaching and mentoring from Wells Fargo. An independent advisory board of nearly a dozen industry leaders representing the commercial building sector, academia, community organizations, successful entrepreneurs, and technical experts will select a final group of companies to deploy and field test their innovations in Wells Fargo buildings.
In its first year, the initiative will focus on sustainable buildings technologies that provide cost savings and reduce the negative impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment.
"The IN2 platform is designed to fill a gap that exists from early stage concept to production for emerging clean technologies," said Ashley Grosh, vice president, Wells Fargo environmental affairs. "The program leverages Wells Fargo's geographic diversity and expertise in clean energy in commercial buildings to provide early stage entrepreneurs an alternative pathway toward commercialization."