Kauffman Foundation Grant Underscores Value of Competition for Cleantech Entrepreneurs


As you may have heard, the Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization (CTSI) has partnered with us at Fraunhofer TechBridge for the third Utility Technology Challenge, a competition matching cleantech entrepreneurs and their promising technologies with utilities looking to improve grid reliability and efficiency.

New to the contest this year is a pool of funded demonstration projects and services for winners, worth up to $100,000.

The Kauffman Foundation has announced its grant of $50,000 towards that pool—a commitment that furthers their mission and underscores the value of the competition for cleantech entrepreneurs:

“Kauffman’s goal is to help create an environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurial success, which is especially challenging in the complex and highly regulated energy industry. Providing grants to the competition winners will help accelerate their abilities to move their innovations forward.” – Lesa Mitchell, vice president of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation: Kauffman Foundation Announces Grant for Utility Technology Challenge

Companies with pilot-ready or early-stage commercial technologies in transmission and distribution, demand response and power electronics should consider applying. This year, there is a new emphasis on demand-side building energy technologies, such as energy efficiency measures (e.g., HVAC, lighting, and building management), as well as distributed generation systems (e.g., building-integrated solar photovoltaics and combined heat and power).

I’d also like to highlight New England’s strong presence in this competition: National Grid, Northeast Utilities, and Constellation Energy are sponsors, with support from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, New England Clean Energy Foundation, and Association of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION).

About author
I'm the former manager of Fraunhofer CSE's TechBridge program, dedicated to supporting the commercialization of promising new cleantech innovations. All opinions expressed are my own, and don't represent an official endorsement from Fraunhofer CSE or the Fraunhofer Society.
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