CleanStart Todos with Ryan Barr COO of Repurpose Energy

CleanStart Todos with Ryan Barr COO of Repurpose Energy

Our guest is RePurpose Energy cofounder, Ryan Barr. RePurpose Energy reuses electric vehicle batteries to create low-cost energy storage solutions.

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Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Based on the idea that the Sacramento region is “primed for success” in launching new businesses, but that entrepreneurs needed help in getting started, Mark Haney and Monique Brown founded a new business accelerator based in Rocklin—the Growth Factory.  On March 10,...

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Janine Elliott was our guest on October 12 for a Perspectives podcast, explaining her new role.  She comes to us from 6 years at VentureWell in Amherst, MA, one of the best- funded and most complete tech incubators, and from the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator, which...

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

Both California and New York have declared they want people to buy only EVs starting in 2035 and more states are considering joining the push.  But that leaves the existing 276 million gasoline and diesel vehicles still on the road in the US (31 million in California)...

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, EY, Stoel Rives,

Greenberg Traurig LLP, BlueTech Valley,

Buchalter, Moss Adams, PowerSoft.biz

College of Engineering & Computer Science

at Sacramento State

Follow us on Social Media to keep upto date!

Spotlight July 2020

Spotlight July 2020

CleanStart, in collaboration with BlueTechValley, is launching a new investor pitch event for clean tech startups. Our goal is to increase awareness of these promising startups by hosting networking events to hear what these companies are doing and introducing them to a broad range of potential investors, supporters, and peers. July’s Spotlight Pitch featureed four companies who presented to a five-person panel who will provide each presenter feedback and then questions will be taken from the attendees.

The Companies

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Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Based on the idea that the Sacramento region is “primed for success” in launching new businesses, but that entrepreneurs needed help in getting started, Mark Haney and Monique Brown founded a new business accelerator based in Rocklin—the Growth Factory.  On March 10,...

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Janine Elliott was our guest on October 12 for a Perspectives podcast, explaining her new role.  She comes to us from 6 years at VentureWell in Amherst, MA, one of the best- funded and most complete tech incubators, and from the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator, which...

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

Both California and New York have declared they want people to buy only EVs starting in 2035 and more states are considering joining the push.  But that leaves the existing 276 million gasoline and diesel vehicles still on the road in the US (31 million in California)...

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, EY, Stoel Rives,

Greenberg Traurig LLP, BlueTech Valley,

Buchalter, Moss Adams, PowerSoft.biz

College of Engineering & Computer Science

at Sacramento State

Follow us on Social Media to keep upto date!

CleanStart ToDos with Grid Alternatives

CleanStart ToDos with Grid Alternatives

Our guest is Arianne Ortegaray, corporate and community relations officer at GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit national leader in helping low-income communities and disadvantaged communities nationwide get access to clean, affordable energy and livable wage jobs in the renewable energy industry.

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Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Growth Factory Filling Gaps in Regional Ecosystem

Based on the idea that the Sacramento region is “primed for success” in launching new businesses, but that entrepreneurs needed help in getting started, Mark Haney and Monique Brown founded a new business accelerator based in Rocklin—the Growth Factory.  On March 10,...

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Venture Catalyst Expanding at UC Davis

Janine Elliott was our guest on October 12 for a Perspectives podcast, explaining her new role.  She comes to us from 6 years at VentureWell in Amherst, MA, one of the best- funded and most complete tech incubators, and from the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator, which...

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

The Other Path to Decarbonizing Transportation

Both California and New York have declared they want people to buy only EVs starting in 2035 and more states are considering joining the push.  But that leaves the existing 276 million gasoline and diesel vehicles still on the road in the US (31 million in California)...

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, EY, Stoel Rives,

Greenberg Traurig LLP, BlueTech Valley,

Buchalter, Moss Adams, PowerSoft.biz

College of Engineering & Computer Science

at Sacramento State

Follow us on Social Media to keep upto date!

Recap: Grant Workshop Highlights New Funding Opportunities

Recap: Grant Workshop Highlights New Funding Opportunities

To date, nearly $3.4 billion has been appropriated by the Legislature to State agencies to implement Greenhouse Gas reduction programs and projects. Much of this is allocated in the form of various grants. Agencies are inviting proposals from teams and companies to use these funds, you can see some at California Climate Investments homepage. Recently, CleanStart had presenters from California Air Resources Board (CARB), The Grant Farm, and Terzo Power Systems talk about the process and potential of using grants to finance a startup.

 

Attendees learned that through AB 32 over $1.6 billion had been allocated to fight global climate change. Ryan Huft, an engineer at CARB, outlined all of the agencies receiving funding available for 2018 and 2019. He shared California Climate Investments  as the location of many opportunities. These investments support a variety of state interest but all have common goals: supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases, helping underserved and disadvantaged communities, and helping all of California take the lead in creating a sustainable future. Ethan Hanohano shared his and The Grant Farm’s considerable experience in forming partnerships to win grants and how companies should approach the grants. He recommended starting by building a solid team, creating a purpose, and connecting with grants that are in your companies field.

All the speakers emphasized two things: write exactly what the grant says it wants and connect with disadvantaged communities. Huft’s and Hanohano’s presentations kept going back to one major point, “Grants explicitly lay out what they want. Have your proposal follow that.” There may seem like there is duplication in grants, but everything is there for a reason. So even if you have said it before, say it the same way again. It is important to keep it simple and connect to each requirement.

Connecting with disadvantaged or underserved communities is important and is a good practice for any growing company. Connecting can mean creating jobs, improving quality of life, or connecting a community to more resources. When creating a clean tech or sustainable solution, understanding connections and benefits to communities is not only important for grants but also the general company development. These communities are potentially future customers and partners in new tech development.

Mike Terzo of Terzo Power Systems won $4 million in CEC grants in 2016. He took the application and wrote exactly to it. Terzo is now working on those grants and learning a few extra lessons along the way. The big one was giving yourself time and flexibility to reach milestones and deliverables. Setting a realistic timeline is more important then setting an aggressive one. Realistic time management is important in controlling your business and connecting with investors. With grants it is no exception. Agencies administering the grants have goals they want you to achieve; make sure a proposal has a reasonable timeline for you to do that.

Terzo highlighted understanding a grants reimbursement and your incurred liabilities is important while building a successful grant proposal. Grants pay in arrears, meaning you are reimbursed for costs you have already paid. Vendors, contractors, employees and leases may be due before you receive reimbursement. You will need a way to finance the time difference between incurring the cost, invoicing the agency, and getting a check. It would be common for the grant reimbursement cycle to take 4-5 months. You likely will need a bank, an SBA loan guarantee or alternative financing to make a grant workable for you.

All of the work done for a grant not only benefits a startup if they get the grant, but also pushes them to better understand how their technology connects to the larger ecosystem and how they can be effectively managed. Actively applying for grants can have more benefits than funding for a company.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, Moss Adams GreenbergTraurig

BlueTech Valley, PowerSoft.biz, Revrnt, Synbyo, Califronia Mobility Center


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