Accel-VT Energy 2019 Applications Open!

Using Local Strength to Tackle Global Challenges

Our focus is on developing a climate innovation cluster of entrepreneurs around our existing local strengths in solar deployment, energy storage, community scale wind, micro-grid development, energy efficiency, demand side management, and data systems. We work to spark climate innovation, and connect the emerging network of climate economy entrepreneurs with industry expertise and growth capital.

Entrepreneurs come to us from Vermont and throughout the US, typically at a seed stage of development. We guide them through an intensive 12-week, world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, which is designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale.

We launch entrepreneurs with businesses modeled on the conviction that global challenges – such as climate change – are the raw material for transformative solutions, new market opportunities, and lasting value.

Proven Model with a Vermont Twist

Accel-VT is a business accelerator focused on helping early stage companies in climate economy innovation. The program is administered by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF). In partnership with energy industry and venture capital companies, the accelerator will fill out its third cohort with entrepreneurs developing products or services that are focused on reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation and/or heating sector – a growing arena where Vermont leads the nation. The program will:

  • Recruit and competitively select a cohort of 8-10 start-up and early stage entrepreneurs.
  • Provide proven Village Capital curriculum delivered by two trained and experienced facilitators.
    • Deliver three 4-day onsite workshops over 3 months, plus webinars and mentoring sessions in-between workshops.
    • Two peer-selected cohort businesses will receive $25,000 each in prize money.
  • Connect accelerator participants to the larger ecosystem of business support and capital in Vermont that will serve them well in year one and beyond.

Focus on Reducing Fossil Fuel Use in Heating and Transportation

We are interested in startup and/or seed stage ventures who offer new technologies, or novel applications of existing technologies, aimed at reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the heating and/or transportation sector. Some examples include, but are not limited to, ventures that are enabling:

  • Solutions to make electric transportation more affordable, accessible, and widely-available;
  • New electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for homes, businesses, and the public;
  • New technology to help utilities interface with electric charging infrastructure to manage demand or send price signals or enable dynamic or other rates;
  • New air-source and ground-source heat pump technologies, including demand management and boiler-compatible;
  • Advanced biomass and biofuel solutions for homes, businesses, and public-sector institutions;
  • Solar water heating solutions;
  • District heating technologies and applications.


– February 15th 2019: Applications open for accelerator

– Mid-March 2019: Founding sponsors in place to support 3rd accelerator program

– April 28th 2019: Application deadline

– May 10th 2019: Accelerator cohort members selected

– May 28th 2019: First Workshop (4 days) to be held

– July 9th 2019: Second Workshop (4 days) to be held

– August 12th 2019: Third Workshop (4 days) to be held


For more information visit