Final Sprint
for Fall 2018
2018/12/11 09:00:00

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.

Accel-VT invites startup or seed stage ventures from Vermont and around the U.S. and Canada to apply for this climate economy business accelerator.

WINTER 2017/18

Our Winter 2017/18 program has ended. Read our recap here.

FALL 2018

Our Fall 2018 program has ended. Stay tuned for a recap.

Energy Winter 2017/18 Recap

Fall 2018
Ag and Food-Tech

Consumer demand for sustainable products, coupled with the desire to understand where those products come from, has created the need for technological advancements in the agricultural value chain.

Rural economies nationwide and around the globe are struggling to maintain their local food systems and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, especially as extreme weather events become more prevalent. Vermont is a leader in the incubation and development of forward thinking food and energy businesses and is making a concerted effort to attract the next generation of climate friendly businesses to the state.

Consider some of the challenges and opportunities that we face in Vermont that are also applicable throughout the world:

Degraded water quality due to excessive phosphorus from a variety of sources.

We need new technologies that can be used to clean up impaired waters, extract excess phosphorus and repurpose it for other uses. We also need new soil monitoring, data management, and precision agriculture production technologies that can be used to improve soil health and/or water quality.

Supply chain management and product traceability.

Due to new federal food safety rules and/or the need to be able to trace the sourcing of particular input attributes such as GMO-free, fair trade, and organic, new tools are needed to help food manufacturers source verify their inputs.

Food distribution in rural areas with small producers.

We need companies with innovative business models that can provide logistics support to local producers who want to reach larger markets.

Decrease overall energy usage to be more efficient and save money.

The agriculture and food manufacturing sectors are big users of fossil fuels and a lot of ‘waste’ heat that could be used for other purposes gets lost.  We need innovative energy technologies (e.g., compost heat recovery, next generation digesters, solar heat collectors) that can be of benefit to farms and food manufacturers in order to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, be more efficient, and reduce their expenses.

New market opportunities due to legalization of hemp.

Hemp can now be legally grown in Vermont and consumer interest in CDB products is exploding. While farmers are adding more acres of hemp production each year, Vermont lacks high quality processing and extraction infrastructure.

Opportunities to support universal recycling.

All over the country, communities are trying to decrease the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills. Collection logistics, materials management and processing, and new biodegradable packaging technologies are in increasing demand.

Winners Announced

After three months of intense focus, camaraderie and learning we are pleased to announce the Accel-VT Ag & Food Tech 2018 cohort winners as selected by their peers. In the top spot is AgHelp of Michigan and in a close second is Ceres Greens of Barre, VT.

Important Dates

June 6, 2018
Application opens

August 22, 2018
Application deadline

September 13, 2018
Cohort selected

October 2 – 5, 2018
First Sprint

November 6 – 9, 2018
Second Sprint

December 11 – 14, 2018
Third Sprint

Energy: Winter 2017/18

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 two companies who will each 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 in an idyllic and recreational setting. The Energy Accel-VT program was 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