Burlington Electric, Vermont Technology Council Create Exploratory Team to Assess Potential for Vermont Energy Startup Accelerator

  • Invite startups to complete survey to gauge interest in 12-week program, concluding with capital investment
    Tuesday, January 17, 2017

    Burlington, VT: The Burlington Electric Department and the Vermont Technology Council today announced the formation of an exploratory team to assess the potential for a Vermont energy startup accelerator – PowerUp Vermont – to help businesses focused on innovating in the power industry and driving the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The 12-week program would be designed to provide growing energy businesses with a competitive advantage through a mentorship program and seminars that would address a variety of topics, including venture capital, fundraising, sales training, marketing, branding, business development, client acquisition, and power industry-specific advice. Energy entrepreneurs are invited to complete a survey found by visiting www.PowerUpVT.com that will gauge interest in and expectations from this type of program.

    The idea to create PowerUp Vermont emerged from innovators and investors familiar with Vermont’s startup scene, including Cairn Cross, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Tracks Capital, who stated: “The Vermont entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown dramatically in the past couple decades and, as a result, we need a more abundant and diverse offering of support networks for growing companies. An accelerator program like PowerUp Vermont would provide companies with industry-specific connections, insights, and business skills to position them for success.”

    “At Burlington Electric, we are committed to leading through energy innovation, as we did when Burlington became the first city in the nation to source 100 percent of its power through renewable generation,” said Neale Lunderville, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department. “PowerUp Vermont would provide Burlington Electric with a great opportunity to engage with and support local energy companies trying to move the City of Burlington, the State of Vermont, and our country away from fossil fuels and would line up very well with our 10-year strategic vision to transition Burlington to a net zero energy city. As the ecosystem of entrepreneurs in the power industry continues to grow, both large and small companies stand to benefit.”

    Paul Hines, Co-Founder of Packetized Energy, a growing Vermont-based business in the power industry, expressed enthusiasm for a program like PowerUp Vermont, stating: "An accelerator program focused on energy would further Vermont's position as a hub for energy innovation and could really help to advance Packetized Energy's business.”

    “We’re excited to help entrepreneurs overcome growth challenges and create more job opportunities for Vermonters,” said John Evans, President of the Vermont Technology Council.

    Not only would more successful businesses in the power industry create jobs and help slow down climate change, but also they would help existing businesses in the power industry. According to James Moore, Co-President of SunCommon, “Startups in the power industry have the potential to help us deepen our client relationships and meet the increasingly complex needs of customers.”

    The success of this type of venture hinges on engagement from the entrepreneurial community, and the survey at www.PowerUpVT.com will provide insight into the real potential for this program.

    Please contact Bonnie Reese at PowerUpVT@gmail.com with questions.

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    Mike Kanarick
    Director of Customer Care, Community Engagement, and Communications
    Burlington Electric Department
    585 Pine Street | Burlington, Vermont 05401
    mkanarick@burlingtonelectric.com | 802.735.7962 (cell)