The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) was awarded $750,000 for a three-year grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support its project, “The Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator,” as part of EDA’s 2021 Build to Scale Venture Challenge. The Venture Challenge seeks to leverage regional competitive strengths to accelerate innovation and job creation through high-growth technology entrepreneurship and fostering inclusive access to proven entrepreneurship support models.
“The ‘Build to Scale’ program strengthens entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country that are essential in the Biden Administration’s efforts to build back better,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This work is critical in developing the innovation and entrepreneurship our country needs to build back better and increase American competitiveness on the global stage.”
The Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator (MEIA) is an initiative of MCEC. The program welcomed its inaugural cohort in January of 2020. “These funds will allow MCEC to expand the Maryland Energy Innovation Accelerator program to support clean energy and climate technology startups across the state. MEIA will increase its annual support for additional teams, creating millions of dollars of incremental investment and hundreds of new jobs in Maryland over the next 3 to 5 years,” said MEIA Director, Brian Toll.
With this support, MEIA will deliver startup support to an estimated 22 teams per year. MEIA will implement a three-tiered approach that moves technology from concept to demonstration: 1) Pre-Accelerator – A two-month customer-discovery program for the earliest technologies from universities and labs; 2) Launchpad – A six-month commercialization planning program for high-potential technologies in universities or labs; and 3) Accelerator – A more than six-month program for established companies looking to fill senior roles, to demonstrate technology, and to obtain third-party capital investment.
MEIA is a venture development and advancement program focused on commercializing advanced energy and climate technologies developed at Maryland-based businesses, universities, and federal laboratories. MEIA uniquely blends the “pull” of an early-stage venture development program with the “push” of accelerating existing pre-revenue businesses to create investible companies that will become the foundation of Maryland’s newest economic cluster. MEIA provides startups with access to domain experts, strategic partners, professional services, and project management support to execute commercialization milestones. To form or augment startup teams, MEIA recruits and engages experienced, industry-specific business executives and entrepreneurs (“energy executives”) who want to become founders or executives of the startup to perform its commercialization activities. This energy executive model creates higher quality leadership teams that, when combined with great technology, produce the investible Maryland-based companies that form the foundation of an emerging economic cluster.
MEIA is sponsored by Exelon, the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, Banner Witcoff, Clark Hill, Paley Rothman, Snyder Cohn, Points North Studio, and Whiteford Taylor Preston. Sponsors provide both financial and in-kind support to MEIA and to Startup Teams.
MEIA is currently accepting applications for inventors and newly formed companies, and for business executives who want to become energy executives in residence. To learn more about MEIA and participation opportunities, please visit: www.mdeia.org.