CleanStart’s recent discussion about the CalTestBed Opportunity offers an exciting opportunity for clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key points covered during the discussion and why it matters.

CalTestBed: Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation

Apply for CalTestBed Here

The discussion, hosted by Thomas Hall, the Executive Director of CleanStart, featured Rachel Yu, Senior Program Manager at CalTestBed. The primary focus was on CalTestBed, a voucher and commercialization program designed to support clean energy entrepreneurs in California.

Key Takeaways:

1. Introduction to CalTestBed: CalTestBed is a vital part of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) ecosystem. It provides financial support, specifically testing vouchers worth up to $300,000, to companies and individuals looking to validate their clean energy technologies.

2. Program Eligibility: To be eligible for CalTestBed, applicants must align with the program’s goals of benefiting California ratepayers. Prototypes should fall within Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 5 to 7, and they should have a hardware component.

3. Supported Technology Types: CalTestBed supports a wide range of clean energy technologies, including building technologies, energy efficiency, energy storage, grid technologies, industry and agriculture, IoT, material-based renewables, transportation, and water technologies.

4. Application Process: The application window for CalTestBed opens on October 27th and closes on November 22nd. Applicants go through a screening process for eligibility and are then scored by technical reviewers based on innovation, feasibility, scalability, and market potential.

5. Networking and Support: Participants in the program gain access to a network of technical experts, opportunities to present to industry partners, and additional funding opportunities. They can also access the New Energy Nexus global community and network.

6. Success Stories: CalTestBed has successfully supported numerous clean energy companies in increasing their TRL levels and securing additional funding. It’s a valuable resource for companies looking to bridge the gap between technology development and commercialization.

Looking Ahead: CalTestBed’s Fourth Cohort

As CalTestBed embarks on its fourth cohort, there’s excitement about what lies ahead. The program is evolving, with plans for in-person symposiums and expanded support. Entrepreneurs, especially those from underrepresented communities and regions like the Central Valley, are encouraged to explore this opportunity.

Action Steps:

  1. Apply for CalTestBed: The application window opens on October 27th and closes on November 22nd. Visit the CalTestBed website to get started and access the application materials.


  1. Prepare: Your Application: Ensure your application aligns with the program’s eligibility criteria and clearly addresses innovation, feasibility, scalability, and market potential. Avoid overlooking the importance of how your technology benefits California ratepayers.


  1. Engage: with CleanStart: CleanStart can provide guidance and support throughout the application process. Reach out to them for insights and assistance.



CalTestBed presents a remarkable opportunity for clean energy entrepreneurs in California. It not only offers financial support for testing but also opens doors to a network of experts and potential future funding. As clean energy innovation continues to drive progress toward a sustainable future, programs like CalTestBed play a crucial role in propelling these innovations from the lab to the market. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this exciting journey. Apply, innovate, and accelerate with CalTestBed.

Watch the full discussion here.


Thomas is the Executive Director of CleanStart. Thomas has a strong background in supporting small businesses, leadership, financial management and is proficient in working with nonprofits. He has a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics from California State University, Chico. Thomas has a passion for sustainability and a commitment to supporting non-profits in the region.

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