VertueLab Receives Cleantech Grant from Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

PORTLAND, Oregon (March 6, 2019) — The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), today announced that climate impact accelerator VertueLab is one of only 13 organizations nationwide to receive a prestigious IN2 Channel Partner Award this year.

As an official Channel Partner of the IN2 program, VertueLab was recognized for its efforts to advance sustainable technology solutions that can improve energy efficiency.

Launched in 2014, IN2 is a $30 million program that facilitates the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies in commercial buildings and in the agriculture sector. To help foster enhanced collaboration, IN2 created a network of Channel Partners—a nationwide system of incubators, accelerators and university programs that refer startup companies to the program. Entering its third year, the Channel Partner Awards Program will disburse $1 million in competitive grants across 13 recipient organizations in order to help advance sustainable technology solutions that can catalyze new collaborations, capital flow and job creation.

VertueLab is a nonprofit organization based in the Pacific Northwest and focused on fighting climate change by leveraging philanthropy to accelerate early-stage clean technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The organization will use the IN2 Channel Partner Award funds to help launch its new VertueLab Climate Impact Fund, a new solution to the critical capital gap for cleantech startups that is universally experienced by companies served by the IN2 ecosystem. The capital gap is a result of hesitation by traditional investors to fund hardware-oriented technologies until significant technology development milestones are reached. VertueLab is working to solve this capital gap using innovative structures to capitalize on the massive trend toward impact investing as an important new source of aligned capital.

“In our decade of experience funding early stage cleantech companies, we have witnessed the impact that our early support can have on our companies’ ability to reach the stage where they are ready for conventional investors,” said Jo Brickman, Deputy Director and Director of Impact Strategy at VertueLab. “We function as a bridge over the capital gap for companies to get to the stage where downstream investors are ready to help their technologies scale and be deployed as a solution to avert the climate crisis .”

“The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator is proud to provide additional support to VertueLab for their efforts to accelerate the development and commercialization of clean technology and support early-stage entrepreneurs,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer with Wells Fargo. “These are the folks who are really disrupting the industry and driving innovation.”

“Ultimately, the goal with our Channel Partner Awards Program is to create a strong, collaborative ecosystem of support across the country,” said Trish Cozart, IN2 Program Manager at NREL. “We are funding these partners to continue their support of early-stage entrepreneurs and support of each other as they create partnerships and share knowledge.”

Since 2017, the IN2 Channel Partner Awards Program has distributed approximately $2.1 million in competitive and non-competitive grants in support of more than 74 events, strategic meetings and trainings as well as 21 larger strategic initiatives between 23 organizations. In the pilot year of the awards program, funded projects engaged over 1,800 participants (entrepreneurs, industry, academia and others), created nearly 200 jobs, led to more than $18.3 million in follow-on funding for startups involved and leveraged $812,000 in matching funds from outside organizations.

For more information on the awards program, please visit www.in2ecosystem.com

Media Contact: Gregg Kleiner, 541.740.9654, kleinerg(at)comcast.net
Source: Johanna Brickman, 503.313.4507, jo.brickman(at)vertuelab.org

About Vertuelab
VertueLab supports innovative cleantech startups in the Pacific Northwest that are developing solutions to climate change, while preparing these companies for follow-on investment through a series of focused programs. VertueLab partners with donors and impact investors, helping ensure their investment dollars are aligned with their values and are having a measurable impact on the planet. For more information, visit vertuelab.org.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN2’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts at NREL and the Danforth Plant Science Center’s facilities and the opportunity to beta test at a Wells Fargo facility or with a strategic program partner. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN2 began expanding its focus in 2018 to support innovation in sectors such as transportation, food systems, energy storage and others with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected communities of the future. For more information, visit in2ecosystem.com.

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