Wells Fargo has launched a $10 million environmental grant for clean technology startups.
The Innovation Incubator (IN2) program, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, aims to foster the development of early stage clean technologies for commercial buildings.
Wells Fargo says the program is the first of its kind within the banking industry.
Clean technology startups will be identified and recommended by Wells Fargo’s network of technical, financial and industry advisors at laboratories and research facilities across the country. The first of three rounds of selected companies will be announced in early 2015, and will receive up to $250,000 for business development needs, research and testing support at NREL’s facility in Golden, Colorado, along with coaching and mentorship 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 the final companies to be included in the IN2 program.
The IN2 program will source candidates from universities and regional accelerators providing a pipeline of early stage technology companies to apply. Selected technology companies will reach specific technology milestones in the NREL lab with an opportunity to deploy and field test in Wells Fargo buildings.
In 2013, commercial and residential buildings consumed 40 percent of all energy used in the US, costing an estimated $413 billion, according to the DOE.
The first year of the IN2 program will focus on sustainable buildings technologies that will provide cost savings and reduce the overall negative impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment. Qualifying technologies may include the following: energy efficiency, lighting, net zero-energy, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality enhancement, waste reduction, materials efficiency, operations and maintenance optimization, datacenter facilities management. Over time, the program will expand its portfolio of selected companies and the scope of clean technology sectors.
The IN2 program is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation as part of its 2020 Environmental Commitment to provide $100 million to environmentally focused nonprofits and universities by 2020.