Wells Fargo Expands Clean Technology Incubator Program Beyond Commercial Buildings

On April 13, financial services provider Wells Fargo announced a $20 million expansion of the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2), a five-year, $10 million program launched in 2014, designed to facilitate early-stage technologies that  reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings.

IN2, now a $30 million program co-administered by Wells Fargo and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), will expand its focus to additional sectors such as transportation, microgrid solutions, and sustainable agriculture, and implement a Channel Partner Award program.

Companies selected for participation in the program receive:

  • Up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo,
  • Technical support and validation from experts at NREL’s facilities in Golden, Colorado, and
  • The opportunity to beta-test at a Wells Fargo facility or with a strategic program partner.

Small businesses selected last January to participate in round three include:

  • Transformative Wave: (Kent, Washington) HVAC, light, and battery storage retrofit kit for commercial buildings.
  • Software Motor Corporation: (Sunnyvale, California) Super high efficiency Internet-enabled motor for HVAC applications.
  • PowerFlex Systems: (Los Altos, California) Adaptive EV charging network for demand response and renewable integration.
  • Simuwatt: (Boulder, Colorado) Rapid energy auditing software and platform.
  • Maalka: (New York City) Open modeling platform for managing large-scale building sustainability initiatives.
  • Geli: (San Francisco) Software platform to design, automate, and manage energy storage systems.
  • APANA: (Bellingham, Washington) C&II smart water management systems using IoT and prescriptive analytics.
  • EdgePower: (Aspen, Colorado) Cloud-hosted energy simulation application for analyzing and enhancing building performance
  • Ibis Networks: (Honolulu) Plug load management for the enterprise.
  • J2 Innovations: (Chino, California) Building automation and operating system for connecting and controlling devices.

To date, the program has funded 20 early-stage startups from across the U.S. and has seen the successful exits of two Round 1 awardees via acquisition.

“We are very excited … to extend the successful IN2 program model beyond the commercial building space to support innovation in other important clean-tech verticals,” commented Ashley Grosh, IN2 co-lead for Wells Fargo..”

“In addition to providing continued and increased support for the program, we are seeking to further connect our network of key stakeholders, industry experts, university programs and channel partners in order to be successful in expanding the focus and dialogue around a long-term, sustainable ecosystem,” said Richard Adams, director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at NREL. “During the life of the IN2 program, our goal is to stimulate smart and connected communities by leveraging the technical expertise and thought leadership provided by NREL to support innovative technological breakthroughs that will lead us to a more sustainable future.”

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