Last week, NREL’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center convened a dynamic audience in Eagle County to network and meet rising innovators with promising early-stage technologies who are leveraging national laboratories to further develop their product solutions on their path to market. In the refreshing Fall mountain landscape, the 2nd Innovation Showcase provided compelling content to investors, strategic partners and innovators with the primary lens focused on cutting-edge technologies coming down the pike, aimed at addressing the most pressing energy and environmental issues.
Among the presenters were startups of the newly welcomed cohort 4 of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), entrepreneurs working with the various national laboratory commercialization programs, including Cyclotron Road and Chain Reaction Innovations, startups that have spun technologies out of the national labs, and Energy I-Corps alumni teams exploring their pathways to commercialization (Cohort 8 of Energy I-Corps just kicked off their entrepreneurial journey last week!).
Exciting program updates were also featured. Shell and NREL have partnered to launch a new multimillion-dollar cleantech energy incubation program, the Shell GameChangerTM Accelerator Powered by NREL (GCxN). Read the Greentech Media article about the partnership and sign up for Shell Gamechanger Accelerator (GCxN) updates to learn more. Attendees also heard from a dynamic panel led by Cleantech Group with representatives from universities and non-profits exploring opportunities for technological innovation in the food, energy, water nexus. The IN2 program recently expanded into ag-tech with an initial focus on Sustainable Production through Digital Agriculture. To help hone in on additional segments to pursue, IN² is partnering with Cleantech Group and other subject matter experts to identify where the IN² model can best be applied to address energy, water, and environmental issues. Stay tuned to read the full published report next month.
Looking ahead, we anticipate continued support for programs such as those featured at the Innovation Showcase that convene influential network members and provides a spotlight on cutting-edge innovations and solutions-oriented collaborations. Thank you to those who were able to join us. We look forward to celebrating more breakthrough technologies with everyone at the NREL Industry Growth Forum and Emerging Markets Day, May 8-10 in Denver (Startups – Apply today!).