Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator Unveils 2024 Strategic Award Winners

Award Funding to Empower Climate-Tech Innovators at Camp Cleantech on August 12-14, 2024, in Denver, Colorado
Apr 18, 2024 2:30 PM ET

DENVER, April 18, 2024 /3BL/ - Today, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, announced its eighth cycle of IN2 Channel Partner Strategic Awards. This year, IN² distributed $767,000 across 15 organizations within the Channel Partner network, equipping them to host impactful workshops at the pioneering event, Camp Cleantech, this August 12-14, 2024, at CSU Spur in Denver, Colorado.

Camp Cleantech is designed to immerse climate-tech startups in an environment ripe with knowledge-sharing and collaborative opportunities. The event aims to equip attendees with critical tools and insights necessary for navigating the complexities of startup life while providing unparalleled access to ecosystem leaders, premier partners, incubators, and accelerators.

“We are celebrating this year’s Strategic Award winners and looking forward to Camp Cleantech,” said Robyn Luhning, chief sustainability officer at Wells Fargo. “As the real economy demands more lower-carbon solutions, Wells Fargo continues to support the scaling of new solutions for a successful shift to a low-carbon economy.”

The workshops at Camp Cleantech will cover a range of topics critical to entrepreneurial success, including community and corporate partnerships, financing strategies, organizational development, product design and manufacturing, pilot and demonstration readiness, and crafting compelling value propositions. These sessions are designed to equip climate-tech startups with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Workshops will be presented by:

  • Activate Global
  • BRITE Energy Innovators
  • Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University
  • Cleantech Group
  • Cleantech Open.
  • Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA)
  • Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC)
  • Elemental Excelerator
  • Evergreen Climate Innovations
  • Greentown Labs
  • Grid Catalyst
  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
  • Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator
  • Urban Future Lab at New York University.

In line with IN²'s broader goals, this year's awards also emphasize fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the cleantech ecosystem. Workshops will explore effective team building through both internal and external lenses, ensuring that startups are well-equipped to build inclusive, resilient, and high-performing organizations.

"The significance of this year's awards goes beyond the recognition of innovation; it embodies a concerted effort to elevate collaboration and engagement across the board,” said Sarah Derdowski, IN² program director at NREL. “Through Camp Cleantech, we're setting a new standard in how we gather, inspire, and propel our community forward."

The selection process for this year's awards was informed by comprehensive surveys and insights across the Channel Partner network, highlighting the ecosystem’s most pressing needs and areas for development. The awards prioritize projects that offer unique expertise and address key themes such as financing resources, pilots and demonstrations with corporate or industry partners, and strategies for overcoming barriers to innovation.

A portion of the awards, totaling $435,000, is dedicated to a select few recipients receiving additional follow-on funding to enhance and expand their workshop content and insights towards entrepreneurs in their local networks.

IN² launched the Channel Partner awards program in 2017 to nurture the Channel Partner ecosystem, which includes more than 60 cleantech and agtech business incubators, accelerators, universities, and industry experts. Since its inception, the Channel Partner Awards program has distributed more than $8 million, supporting 79 Strategic Awards and 232 Ecosystem or Connector Awards. The nationwide program engages thousands of entrepreneurs, students, investors, mentors, and industry experts.

IN² invites climate-tech startups to register for Camp Cleantech starting May 1, 2024. For more information visit the Camp Cleantech website.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²)

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) is a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. IN² advances clean technologies from ideation to commercialization—validating emerging startups in the built environment and infrastructure sectors, while facilitating connections with end users who receive practical implementation guidance in support of their sustainability goals. IN² is guided by a mission to foster innovation and increase market adoption of clean technologies to address urgent climate challenges. For more information, visit www.in2ecosystem.com.


Camille Cater  
Antenna Group