The Innovation Corridor is an IN2 Channel Partner. IN2 is a unique $30 million technology incubator and platform that is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by NREL. IN2 began as a $10 million program in 2014 with a focus on supporting commercial buildings-related clean technologies and startups. By offering non-dilutive grants, technical expertise and assistance to support technology development, testing and validation, field testing opportunities, and ongoing connections to organizations across value chains, including the investment community, IN2 aims to help de-risk technologies and ease their path to market adoption and deployment. In 2017 this very successful program was allocated an additional $20 million. The $30 million IN2 program is expanding its focus in 2018 to support innovation in sectors such as transportation, commercial buildings, food systems, energy storage and other related areas with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected communities of the future.
Select early-stage companies are formally invited into the program where they receive up to $250,000 in technical assistance from NREL and project related support. Since 2014, three cohorts have been invited to the program on an annual basis, totaling 20 companies. IN2 fosters a network of Channel Partners to identify and refer companies to the program. IN2 Channel Partners, consisting of incubators, accelerators and universities from across the country, serve as ambassadors to the program and help their portfolio companies determine if IN2 is a good fit for their current needs.
Qualifying applicants are requested to provide information addressing their company profile, business plan, technology development status and future plans. Once a technology is tested and validated through NREL, if it is applicable to Wells Fargo and meets internal criteria, a beta may be pursued. This beta test provides a startup with critical understanding of how their technology performs in a real world environment. Real world testing helps to inform further technical development and prove out the technology, two crucial elements on their path to market.
Channel Partner Network:
Innovation Corridor, Caltech FLOW Program, Carnegie Mellon University, Cleantech Group (San Francisco), The Water Council, Imagine H2O, Inc., Stanford TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, University of Texas at Austin, among others.