In 2010, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA), along with local universities and cleantech businesses partnered to develop the Colorado Cleantech Action Plan. The plan was created to increase economic development in the state by eliminating market barriers, creating jobs, and increasing revenues through the clean technology (cleantech) industry. The Cleantech Action Plan outlined 6 areas in need of support to grow Colorado’s cleantech sector. One of the areas revealed was a shortage of executive leadership that had previous successful startup experience in the cleantech industry (outlined in action A1 & B1 of the plan). The recommendation to address this barrier was the proposal to boost leadership training programs in the state. In 2011 CCIA, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) created the Cleantech Fellows Institute to directly fill the need as outlined in the plan.
The objective of the Institute is to help experienced entrepreneurs and executives accelerate their transition into the cleantech sector, stimulating new venture formation, job creation and growth of the industry. Since 2012 the program has brought together an ecosystem of venture capital, university research, expertise at NREL and members of Colorado’s startup community with seasoned executives looking for an opportunity in the cleantech industry. The Institute immerses the participants in all aspects of the industry, providing them with viable business concepts that are needed for the creation of a sustainable business. No other state is home to a program like this, resulting in national attention for Colorado’s innovative environment.
The Cleantech Fellows Institute is currently accepting applications for the fall program. Find out more info on the institute and how to apply HERE.