BOSTON, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — NECEC (The New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute), the largest regional business member organization supporting clean-energy companies and entrepreneurs, and Cleantech Open Northeast, a division of the world’s largest cleantech startup accelerator, announced a formal alliance to facilitate and accelerate cleantech entrepreneurship.
Aligned with Cleantech Open Northeast’s annual accelerator and innovation network, NECEC has created Cleantech Navigate Northeast. This new initiative addresses the lack of a strong, region-wide network to help cleantech entrepreneurs from New York to Maine across a wide spectrum of stages and development pathways to more fully leverage the Northeast’s innovation ecosystem and distributed, robust innovation resources.
“NECEC and Cleantech Open Northeast are ideally positioned to address the regional resource gap that leaves entrepreneurs in one locality unable to benefit from resources in another,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “Cleantech Navigate Northeast will draw upon NECEC’s strong relationships with investors, leading global corporations, state partners, universities and private sector innovation experts to support entrepreneurs at all stages of development.”
Cleantech Navigate Northeast will include a series of programs and events over the course of 2014 to engage with entrepreneurs, understand their businesses needs and connect them to the resources they need through the region-wide network of innovation program partners. Former Cleantech Open Northeast Executive Director Alexandra Adler has joined NECEC as Senior Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to develop and lead Cleantech Navigate Northeast and to coordinate the alliance with Cleantech Open Northeast.
“The Northeast’s diverse array of business resources ranging from incubators, innovation programs and accelerators to corporate partners, investors and early stage adopters, make it the best and easiest region to start and grow a cleantech business,” said NECEC’s Alexandra Adler. “By working closely with existing innovation organizations, Cleantech Navigate Northeast will help entrepreneurs find and leverage the many paths to growth and implementation that the Northeast provides.”
Founding funders for Cleantech Navigate Northeast include the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), with additional funding from Corporate Sponsor National Grid.
“Massachusetts has long supported New England-wide efforts on cleantech innovation and economic development, and we are pleased to see those regional efforts expanding to include our neighbors in New York” said MassCEC Chief Executive Officer Alicia Barton. “Cleantech Navigate Northeast will work across state lines to build upon our regional excellence in innovation and to create an integrated cleantech ecosystem in the Northeast.”
“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, NYSERDA offers a variety of programs to benefit cleantech entrepreneurs in New York State. Many core aspects of starting and growing a business require the right connections beyond the local landscape. We look forward to partnering with NECEC and Cleantech Open Northeast to create a broader, regionally-based network that will help grow the cleantech economy in New York and throughout the Northeast,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA.
Cleantech Navigate Northeast will partner and collaborate closely with the Cleantech Open Northeast’s cleantech startup accelerator, which begins its 2014 program on March 11. Katie MacDonald has been hired as Cleantech Open Northeast’s new Regional Director, responsible for overseeing and executing the Cleantech Open Northeast’s traditional annual accelerator program. In past roles Katie has taught and designed leadership development curriculum for public and private universities, and served as a regional organizer for the world’s largest climate advocacy organization.
“Cleantech Open Northeast’s new alliance with NECEC, and new leadership under Katie MacDonald, position the organization for significant growth and expansion in the years ahead,” said Cleantech Open Northeast Chairman Andrew Friendly. “Cleantech Navigate Northeast will provide entrepreneurs year-round access to the CleantechOpen Northeast network, while strengthening our community of experienced professionals and experts who seek to support entrepreneurs on their journeys through mentorship, coaching, and facilitating connections.”
About Cleantech Navigate Northeast
Cleantech Navigate Northeast is the only region-wide resource network able to help entrepreneurs make quality, targeted connections on a regional scale, designed to help make the Northeast the best and easiest place to start and grow a cleantech business. Cleantech Navigate Northeast gets to know cleantech entrepreneurs and their business needs, and provides entrepreneurs with tailored access to critical resources needed for cleantech entrepreneurs to develop, scale and succeed as quickly as possible.
About NECEC (The New England Clean Energy Council and the NECEC Institute)
NECEC is a regional non-profit organization representing clean energy companies and entrepreneurs throughout New England and the Northeast through programs and initiatives that help clean energy businesses at all stages of development to access the resources they need to grow.
The New England Clean Energy Council (a 501(c)(6) trade member organization) is the lead voice for hundreds of clean energy companies across New England, influencing the energy policy agenda and growing the clean energy economy. The NECEC Institute (a 501(c)(3)) leads programs that support Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Cluster and Economic Development and Workforce Development.
NECEC’s combined mission is to accelerate the region’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies.
About Cleantech Open Northeast
Cleantech Open Northeast is the northeast division of the Cleantech Open, the world’s oldest and largest cleantech startup accelerator program. The mission of the Cleantech Open is to find, fund, and foster the big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. To accomplish this mission, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships to turn ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Through its one-of-a-kind annual accelerator, the Cleantech Open has helped hundreds of clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition. Since 2006, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $6 million in cash and services to support cleantech startups. More than 800 participating companies have raised more than $900 million in external capital.
Media Contact: Ingrid Hartman, Cleantech Open Northeast, (202) 680-4701, [email protected]
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SOURCE Cleantech Open Northeast