Application Deadline
for Energy 2020
2020/02/16 22:58:59

Accel-VT sparks accelerated business growth to support the expanding cluster of entrepreneurs committed to climate economy innovation.

Known for its quality of life, working landscape and commitment to energy transformation, Vermont is also becoming a place where businesses who are developing solutions to climate change can incubate their ideas, find willing partners to test their products, collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs and prepare for new capital.

Energy: Summer 2019

Accel-VT Energy 2019 Winners Announced: Learn more about them here.

Founder Stories

Energy 2019

The challenge

To be part of a competitively-selected cohort of startup and/or seed stage ventures who offer new technologies, or novel applications of existing technologies, aimed at reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the heating and/or transportation sector.

Rural economies nationwide and around the globe are struggling to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels particularly in transportation and heating. As extreme weather events become more prevalent, the need for innovation in the private sector has never been more real.

Vermont is a leader in the incubation and development of forward-thinking energy businesses and is making a concerted effort to attract the next generation of climate-friendly businesses to the state in an effort to accelerate their success.

Consider some of the challenges and opportunities that we face in Vermont that are also applicable throughout the world. Some examples would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Solutions to make electric transportation more affordable, accessible, and widely-available;
  • New electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for homes, businesses, and the public;
  • New technology to help utilities interface with electric charging infrastructure to manage demand or send price signals or enable dynamic or other rates;
  • New air-source and ground-source heat pump technologies, including demand management and boiler-compatible;
  • Advanced biomass and biofuel solutions for homes, businesses, and public-sector institutions;
  • Solar water heating solutions;
  • District heating technologies and applications.

About the applicants

Accel-VT invited startup or seed stage ventures from Vermont and around the U.S. and Canada to apply for this climate economy business accelerator. Companies with at least two team members, demonstrated market adoption in the form of a pilot or paying customer and some level of investment or grant other than founder capital applied. Click to learn more about the selected cohort companies.

Accel-VT Energy 2018 Recap


Winners – Emrgy Inc. of Georgia and A.F. Mensah of  New Jersey. Read the recap here.

FALL 2018

Winners – AgHelp of Michigan and Ceres Greens of Barre, VT. Read the recap here.


By The Numbers


“This program clearly demonstrated that there is no better place in the United States to convene startups, investors, and industry leaders to solve important climate problems than Vermont.

Emily MorrisEmrgy, Energy: Winter 2017/18 Participant

Industry expertise, a network of established climate economy enterprises, and access to potential partners and growth capital are available to all Accel-VT participants.

Participants are guided through the world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale. All cohort Members will have the opportunity to forge meaningful relationships with high quality investors and potential customers.

Accel-VT cohort members will take part in a three-month intensive training. The accelerator consists of three separate, four-day, on-site “sprints”, in the Burlington area, with homework and webinars in between. Participants will be exposed to the world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, which is designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale.

The VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum’s unique “peer-review” process enables each entrepreneur to gain an intimate understanding of the other businesses in the cohort, allowing them to provide quality feedback and to select the top company to receive a $25,000 non-equity prize. All cohort members will also have the opportunity to pitch their business in front of high quality investors.

Vermont offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to access services, networks and growth capital, in a state known for its high quality of life. Vermont was recently ranked the #1 state to move to thanks to growing professional opportunities. Accel-VT programs are held in Burlington, the state’s largest city, which sports a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem supported by:

  • innovative companies willing to pilot new, groundbreaking products and services
  • growing incubation and co-working infrastructure
  • an active lending and investment community
  • like minded companies eager to help and partner
  • regular entrepreneurial meetups and events
  • robust technical and professional services
  • multiple higher educational institutions

The undesirable fact that climate change will have a large effect on the way we all live our lives and how we interact with each other has created an opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs to develop products and services that aim to mitigate the risks and deal with the consequences of climate change.

The Climate Economy includes:

  • Food Systems
  • Water Quality
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Clean Technology
  • Green Building
  • Sensor Technologies
  • Data Management
  • Resource Recycling
  • Storage Technology