AUSTIN, Texas—The Clean Energy Incubator, a division of the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) at The University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute, will share in $1 million the National Alliance of Clean Energy Business Incubators will receive from the federal government in 2003.
The money will be used to support growth and development of technology-based start-up companies in the energy sector at the Austin center and nine others in the United States, said Frank Kinney, chairman of the Alliance.
The Alliance, established in 2000 by the federal government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a coalition of leading business incubators dedicated to providing business and financial services tailored to the clean energy community.
“During his State of the Union address on Jan 28, President Bush included the promotion of energy independence, with a focus on the environment, in his domestic goals,” said Kinney, who is also executive director of Florida’s Technological Research and Development Authority. “With this funding, we’re positioned to help drive this initiative with development and commercialization of clean energy technologies.”
Richard Amato, director of the Austin incubator, is vice chairman of the Alliance.
The Alliance’s incubators offer more than 350,000 square feet of space in nine states and have leveraged $9.2 million in state and local support. Private sector support to Alliance members and client companies exceeds $383 million.
“This is an excellent example of leveraging state and private support with federal funding to advance clean energy initiatives, which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Texas. “With six companies at the Clean Energy Incubator, and the Austin Clean Energy Initiative attracting national attention to the city as a clean energy center, we have a good beginning.”
The Alliance is interested in a broad range of companies from technology-based spinoffs to start-up companies. Technological areas of interest include hydrogen, fuel cells, renewable power generation, distributed generation and storage, power quality, energy conservation, clean energy-related information technology, and end-use consumer products.
In the past five years, NREL has helped move energy-based businesses from the research-and-development stage to market through a series of forums that put companies in touch with financial and business leaders.
“The forums showed us just how difficult it is for entrepreneurial companies to make the transition from a technology-focused start-up to a market-focused business,” said Dr. Marty Murphy, NREL project manager for the Clean Energy Technology Incubator initiative. “This Alliance helps that process by immersing entrepreneurs in a business environment where the correct balance of market and technology development can move these companies successfully into the marketplace.”
In Austin, the CEI provides qualified companies with strategic, financial and management services in an energized business setting. NREL will build upon these services and leverage its relationships with international institutions, the venture capital community, multilateral lending institutions and nation, state and local governments to help CEI jumpstart clean energy businesses in Travis County.
The strategic Alliance represents a network of incubators from across the country—Boston Technology Venture Center, Massachusetts; Austin Technology Incubator, Texas; Environmental Business Cluster, California; Rensselaer, New York; Albany Nano Tech, New York; Advanced Technology Development Center, Georgia; Biz Tech, Alabama; Business Innovation Center, Alabama; Technology Ventures Corporation, New Mexico and Florida/NASA Business Incubation Center, Florida.
Founded in 1988, ATI offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a solid business by leveraging shared resources such as access to venture capital, business mentoring, marketing, technology support services and office space.
For more information on CEI or the National Alliance of Clean Energy Incubators, call 512-305-0050 or visit the Clean Energy Incubator Web site.
For more information about the IC2 Institute or ATI, visit the IC2 Institute Web site.
For more information contact: Richard Amato, Clean Energy Incubator, 512-305-0050.