We support leading entrepreneurial scientists as they advance technology projects with the potential for global impact. The division’s keystone program is a fellowship that supports entrepreneurial scientists and engineers as they develop globally impactful and commercially viable technology products. Since 2015, in partnership with the non-profit Activate.org, fellows have collaborated with more than 70 Berkeley Lab scientists, and the organizations they’ve founded have raised more than $315 million in follow-on funding, hired more than 330 employees, and introduced new products across industries.
The Challenge: Supporting a Generation of Clean-Energy Entrepreneurs
Science innovation takes significant risk, capital, and time. Venture capital for clean energy technologies has declined in favor of software or consumer-product investments. The result: fewer and fewer technology entrepreneurs from America’s top research institutions have been able to find critical early-stage financial support. The nation risks a lost generation of clean energy entrepreneurs, just when we should be innovating rapidly to transform our energy sector.
The Solution: Charting a Path from Great Ideas to Transformative Products
The fellowship is designed to provide the runway, tools, knowledge, and networks that innovators need to turn a concept into a product. A cohort is recruited annually from around the world. Fellows are embedded in the rich Berkeley research ecosystem, where we provide them funding, access to Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, and a program of intensive mentorship, professional development, and networking.