A clean energy accelerator deploying solutions for northern climate challenges

Grid Catalyst is working to accelerate clean energy deployment by connecting entrepreneurs to project demonstration, mentorship and development, and investments to grow their business.

Accelerating deployment through demonstration

Accelerators remove the barriers that keep great ideas and solutions from launching into the market.

Minnesota is uniquely positioned to leverage its robust energy sector, research institutions, and policy environment to become a leading market for clean energy deployment and manufacturing. With unparalleled investments on the horizon in clean energy, now is the time to position Minnesota and the Midwest as the emerging market for innovation, solutions, and deployment.

Grid Catalyst will enable this potential by connecting emerging clean energy businesses to a network of partners representing utilities, higher education, communities and local government, and investors. Starting with our Innovators Network of demonstration partners.

Together, we will find opportunities to demonstrate these vital solutions, and help our startups establish the proof of concept needed to secure investments and deploy climate solutions.

Clean energy accelerator


We cannot understand the true potential of innovation, until we demonstrate it. This is easier said than done when big ideas emerge from the lab and struggle to find a partner and a site willing to test something new. Without this stage of demonstration, businesses are left idling at the commercialization valley of death. Let’s change that.

Grid Catalyst will work diligently with a growing network of demonstration partners to find the right path and location to help businesses validate their value proposition for future clients and investors.

We have already recruited 13 stellar partners to join our Innovators Network as potential demonstration hosts for our 2022 cohort.

High-Potential, High Impact Categories

Building Electrification

Renewable Thermal

Small Scale Batteries

Controls & Metering

Grid Adaptation

Development Timeline

Development Timeline

June 2020

  • Accelerator exploration initiated.

Spring 2021

  • Partnership formed with CEEM

Summer 2021

  • Program launch
  • Network development

Fall 2021

  • Cohort application opens

January 2022

  • First cohort launches

Throughout 2022

  • Cohort experience
  • Demonstration projects implemented
Clean energy accelerator program
Grid Catalyst will be the first and only Midwestern clean energy accelerator focused on demonstrating northern climate solutions.


Major energy producers and users are hesitant to try technologies and solutions that don’t have a track record. Grid Catalyst will work with national-recognized partners to help our cohort businesses with field data validation and findings. Each technology will have a customized validation process.


Clean energy businesses need investment partners who understand this industry. Deploying in this market requires patient capital and partners with experience in this sector. Grid Catalyst will work with national and global partners with significant experience in clean energy and understand how regulatory, permitting, and manufacturing timelines can impact the deployment process and investment returns.

Build & Deploy

The Midwest is mobilizing major change in the energy sector. Job growth is strong in wind, solar, energy efficiency, and other categories in the clean energy economy. As we transition from fossil fuels, we are creating immense opportunities for good jobs, but we need to plan for how these jobs can stay in the Midwest and serve as transition opportunities for those leaving other waning industries. Grid Catalyst is working closely with industry and labor partners to identify opportunities to grow more clean energy jobs for this region.

Launching in 2021

Cohort applications will open in Fall 2021.
Sign up for program announcements.

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