Ready Year 2

Applications are open for ACCEL, an accelerator for BIPOC-led startups

Photo courtesy of Greentown Labs

An accelerator focused on supporting BIPOC-led climatetech startups and addressing inequities in the climatetech industry is accepting applications for its second cohort.

Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech incubator in North America, and Browning the Green Space (BGS), a nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, lead the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program (ACCEL), which offers access to funding, networking connections, resources, and opportunities that structural inequities put out of reach.

“Opening applications for Year 2 of ACCEL is an important milestone in strengthening critical support for traditionally excluded entrepreneurs in our communities,” says Kerry Bowie, executive director and president of Browning the Green Space.

Benefits for startups accepted into the ACCEL program include:

  • gaining access to extensive mentorship from industry experts
  • $25k in non-dilutive grant funding
  • a curated curriculum of workshops led by experts — including from VentureWell — covering various essential topics for early-stage climatetech founders, such as customer discovery, design-thinking, startup finance, storytelling, and more

“Through our partnership with Greentown and VentureWell, we are able to put our respective strengths together to create an ambitious program to bolster founders of color in climatetech and propel innovations that benefit communities most impacted by climate change,” Bowie says.

For Year 2 of ACCEL, Greentown and BGS are seeking applications from startups at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-4 that are developing climate solutions for the electricity, transportation, buildings, manufacturing, agriculture, and resiliency and adaptation sectors. Applications are due January 5, 2024.

The Year 2 request for applications comes as a successful inaugural year of ACCEL winds to a close.

ACCEL Year 1 featured six startups working on innovations as diverse as sneakers made from food waste, ultracapacitors built with hemp sourced from Black and Indigenous farmers, and ultra-light solar panels.

Their accomplishments during the accelerator included raising equity funding, earning acceptances into additional accelerators, winning grants, executing customer discovery, and more. Check out more results from Year 1 of ACCEL here.

“ACCEL is one of the most impactful, meaningful programs we’ve run to date,” says Greentown Labs CEO and president Kevin Knobloch. “We are eager to expand upon the great success and momentum of Year 1, and to welcome another incredible cohort of BIPOC-led startups that are developing much-needed climatetech solutions. We’re equally committed to helping these companies accelerate and deploy their solutions, while also helping to build a more diverse, inclusive climatetech workforce — ACCEL sits at the nexus of those two critical efforts.”

Apply for ACCEL Year 2 here and sign up for program updates here.

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