Jump to main content.

A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Clean Energy Trust

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Project Name

The Clean Energy Prize Fund

Program

Seed Fund Support Grant (formerly known as Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds)

Award Amount

$250,000

Matching Amount

$400,000

The Clean Energy Trust (“CET”) is a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) non-profit clean energy accelerator, that serves nine Midwestern states to source breakthrough technologies that can be turned into high-growth startup companies.  CET aims to create a healthier and more sustainable environment and a more prosperous economy.  Toward that end, CET has established a Clean Energy Prize Fund (“The Fund”) that strives to foster innovation and promote economic growth by providing much needed early-stage seed capital to these startups in order to traverse the commercialization “valley of death.”  The Fund deploys seed capital to support cleantech startups located throughout the following nine Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

CET will establish an operational support program

  • to grow the Fund's investment pool (i.e., capital that will be used to directly invest in qualified companies) from $2.3 million to at least $12 million, with the goal of raising $4 from private sources for every public dollar raised; and
  • to create a financially sustainable investment model in which returns provide capital for future investments and ongoing operational expenses.