About our commitment
Grid Catalyst was founded in 2021 by partners with decades of experience in clean energy development, integrating renewables and innovation into utility and energy systems, launching and supporting energy businesses across the sector.
We are coming together in support of the next generation of big ideas and practical solutions to make our energy system more resilient and to achieve urgent decarbonization objectives.
energy businesses Have Unique Challenges and need a Customized approach to Commercialize
Minnesota has great success with building out innovation across a range of business sizes and sectors. However, energy acceleration has a unique set of challenges that require specialized pathways to growth, especially recognizing the rate of new product and market development occurring in this sector.
Grid Catalyst will address common hurdles to market introduction for businesses with a great idea, but faced with these barriers:
- Lack of demonstration project partners to prove out solution performance and attract investors
- Identifying investors looking for longer time horizons and interested in more capital-intensive ventures, like manufacturing
- Players and institutions that haven’t yet adapted to new regulatory and business model dynamics that are more responsive to emerging tech
What we do
Grid Catalyst works with innovators and startups to help them on the path to commercialization. We are one of the only programs in the United States offering a demonstration cohort to help startups to bridge the commercialization valley-of-death.
In 2023, we will be expanding our programming to bolster the energy innovation ecosystem in Minnesota and create more equitable pathways for founders and startups working to solve northern climate challenges.
What is Unique about Clean Energy Accelerators?
Accelerators have proven their value in the marketplace across several metrics:
- Nearly double the debt and equity financing for accelerated ventures
- Revenue growth is 50% higher
- Average of 16% more full-time hires
Grid Catalyst was founded in 2021 by Nina Axelson, an industry leader with nearly 20 years of experience in energy and sustainability. She led her previous organizations with innovative programming and a focus on integrating environmental and financial results.
She will leverage her background in business development, corporate social responsibility, and renewable energy deployment to lead the Grid Catalyst cohort.
Prior to developing Grid Catalyst, Nina was the VP of Sustainability for Ever-Green Energy. She previously served on the board of the International District Energy Association, where she led the development of the industry’s association for the advancement and empowerment of women in this field.
Building the Runway
With the incredible potential for growth in this sector, now is the time to establish a program that makes it easier for these businesses to scale and deploy in Minnesota. The accelerator will build on proven mechanisms to ensure that the accelerator process has strong outcomes by providing the following to cohort participants:
- a network of mentors specializing in financial, business, technical, policy, and manufacturing/deployment acumen
- demonstration partners and utility allies
- access to investors familiar with the clean energy investment life-cycle that can work with businesses at this stage of commercialization
- support of a group of like-minded entrepreneurs
- visibility from participation in a reputable program with strong PR partnerships experienced with economic inclusion to support equitable outcomes
Sign up for program announcements.