Calling All Experienced Entrepreneurs: New England Clean Energy Council Launches Fellowship Program to Transition Proven Executives into Massachusetts’ Emerging Clean Energy Cluster

Calling All Experienced Entrepreneurs: New England Clean Energy Council Launches Fellowship Program to Transition Proven Executives into Massachusetts’ Emerging Clean Energy Cluster

April 17, 2008

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute To Sponsor Initial Pilot Program

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The New England Clean Energy Council (the Council) today announced the Clean Energy Fellowship Program – a first of its kind entrepreneurial-development program designed to rapidly transition experienced executives into the region’s clean energy sector. The new program addresses a simple but acute problem: a lack of repeat entrepreneurs to help accelerate growth in the sector. It will offer professionals from other technology sectors an intensive, half-time, semester-length, clean energy executive-development program to facilitate their transition. Experienced executives interested in applying to participate in the founding pilot program should visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org/fellowship. Applications will be accepted until May 1st , 2008. The program begins on May 29th 2008 and will continue through mid-September.

The Clean Energy Fellowship Program educational team is being coordinated by Peter Rothstein, an Executive in Residence at Flagship Ventures, and Nick d’Arbeloff, Executive Director of the New England Clean Energy Council. The Fellowship Program’s collaboration with leading academic, research and venture capital institutions will help the Council achieve its ultimate goal of accelerating the formation, funding, and successful growth of the innovation-based clean energy cluster here in New England. The Clean Energy Fellowship Program has also received support from leading organizations focused on entrepreneurship and innovation including the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute.

“There are an increasing number of experienced entrepreneurs from other sectors such as telecom, IT and life sciences that have a strong interest in transitioning into the clean-energy sector. However, this transition requires knowledge of the technology trends, market drivers, industry forces, financing models, regulatory drivers and a range of other issues unique to this sector,” said Nick d’Arbeloff. “This program will give these executives the knowledge, exposure and contacts necessary to begin applying their skills to clean energy venture development.”

The program, developed by the Council over the past six months, was included in House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi’s recently proposed Green Jobs Act of 2008. The program announced today will serve as a pilot for what is hoped will be an ongoing, Massachusetts-funded initiative.

The Council’s Fellowship Program aims to add approximately 25 experienced, CEO-caliber entrepreneurs to the Massachusetts clean energy sector each year. Run twice per year, the three- month part-time program will consist of small classes of 10-15 high level executives and will include:
 

  • Intensive classroom sessions with seminars, lectures and case studies covering issues, trends, and details of clean energy technologies, markets, and policies;
  • Visits to energy labs at various universities and an instructive visit to the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy;
  • Capstone projects, in conjunction with area venture capital firms and in support of potential or existing clean energy startups.

“The venture community is increasingly focused on opportunities presented by the need for clean energy, but a lack of fundable local companies and entrepreneurial talent to lead those ventures is an obstacle to investment,” noted Peter Rothstein. “That’s why the community has come together through the Council to develop this ground-breaking Clean Energy Fellowship Program. A successful Fellowship Program could accelerate the transition of CEO-caliber entrepreneurs into leadership roles with dozens of new clean energy companies in our region. This will result in keeping local capital in our region, creating thousands of new high-paying jobs and establishing another important market sector to keep Massachusetts’s economy vibrant.”

About The Council

The New England Clean Energy Council’s mission is to accelerate New England’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies. The Council represents a diverse set of stakeholders, including industry associations, area utilities, local universities, labor and large commercial end-users. NECEC’s ranks also include 50 CEOs of the region’s leading clean energy companies, representatives from most of the State’s top 10 law firms, and partners from more than a dozen of the top New England venture capital firms (with a total of more than $8 billion under management). The New England Clean Energy Council is based in Cambridge Massachusetts. For additional information please visit www.cleanenergycouncil.org.

Contacts

The New England Clean Energy Council
Greg Wind, 617-758-4173
necec@famapr.com