Creating a thriving startup is incredibly hard – especially in the cleantech sector. Luckily, entrepreneurs taking part in the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator program aren’t alone in their efforts.
Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator is a business accelerator powered by the CleanTech Alliance and Oregon BEST. The program delivers mentorship, curriculum, connections and funding opportunities designed specifically for cleantech startups in the Pacific Northwest.
Fourteen companies spanning Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia are taking part in the 2016 cohort, which kicked off on June 6 at the Washington State Mentor Mixer hosted by Dorsey & Whitney. The goal of the event: pair early stage entrepreneurs with seasoned mentors.
Each Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator team is paired with generalist mentors to help guide them throughout the program. These mentors have proven records of success in relevant cleantech industries or innovation-driven startups. Generalist mentors become a champion for their mentees, helping them:
- Build excellent business plans
- Gain customer discovery feedback
- Make strategic connections
- Fine-tune investor pitches
- Create strong employee teams
Teams can also tap a deep bench of specialist mentors with world-class expertise across key functional disciplines, including:
- Business plan development
- Sales/business development
- Manufacturing and supply chain management
- Financing, funding and investor pitching
- Accounting and tax preparation
- Marketing and public relations
- Export and foreign trade
- Team building and human resources
On average, mentors spend several hours per month with their mentees over the course of the program. Longer relationships are encouraged and often forged.
The Washington State Mentor Mixer featured 9 teams based in Washington State and British Columbia. Each team presented a 90-second overview of their company, followed by happy hour networking opportunities with dozens of available generalist and specialist mentors. The nine teams included:
- ArcEden: ArcEden is an alternative approach to incineration-based cremation that doesn’t use natural gas, coal or oil.
- Automated Agriculture Systems: Automated Agriculture Systems is a sensor network to determine hydration levels throughout the farm along with valve controls and website access for remote monitoring and controls.
- Botanic Air Corp: Botanic Air Corp incorporates organic catalytic oxidation and natural plant processes to create better air filtration while reducing CO2 and HVAC costs.
- Cloud Instruments: Cloud Insights is building a platform composed of both hardware and software tools that greatly increase accessibility to battery testing infrastructure.
- easyXAFS: easyXAFS accelerates innovation by providing instant access to routine, entry-level and research-grade XAFS for the first time.
- Imber Water Treatment: Imber Water Treatment is developing onsite water recycling systems for hospitals, schools, universities and commercial buildings – all large-volume users of water.
- MiCharge: MiCharge is building and maintaining individual and networked, solar and wind generated power management systems for sale, lease or rent to communities and individuals.
- PolyRAP: PolyRAP is developing concrete technology for seismic reinforcement and lifespan upgrading along with a geopolymer concrete that is better suited for harsh environments.
- ZILA Works: ZILA Works is developing hempcrete to create energy-efficient, healthy and affordable communities through the built environment.
An additional 5 companies based in both Washington State and Oregon will participate in the Oregon Mentor Mixer in Portland on June 8.
Interested in supporting a Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator Team? Contact: