Clean Energy Fellowship Program Transitions Proven Entrepreneurs into New England’s Clean Energy Economy

Clean Energy Fellowship Program Transitions Proven Entrepreneurs into New England’s Clean Energy Economy

June 10, 2008

New England Clean Energy Council Announces Fellows, Begins Classes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The New England Clean Energy Council (the Council) today announced the fellows chosen for its Clean Energy Fellowship Program – a first of its kind executive-development curriculum designed to rapidly transition experienced technology entrepreneurs into the region’s clean energy sector.

The Clean Energy Fellowship Program is being piloted this summer, and—pending the passage of the Green Jobs Act—will be run twice per year for the next five years. Each class of roughly a dozen fellows will participate in a three- month, half-time program. Qualifications for program participation include: previous CEO experience; the founding/co-founding of one or more start-up ventures; substantial experience in raising capital; and a strong interest in the clean energy sector. Based on these qualifications, the following 12 individuals were chosen for the inaugural fellowship from over 40 applications:

  • Aaron Bent
  • Rick Daniels
  • Chuck Digate
  • Paul Fenton
  • Joseph Krivickas
  • Steve Kropper
  • David Olsson
  • Perry Solomon
  • John Strauss
  • Per Suneby
  • David Tolwinski
  • John Van Siclen

The curriculum, which runs through mid-September, includes intensive classroom sessions with seminars, lectures and case studies covering issues, trends, and details of clean energy technologies, markets, and policies. In addition, the fellows will receive hands-on experience through site visits at local clean tech companies, local universities, and a visit to the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy. The program will conclude with capstone projects in conjunction with area venture capital firms and in support of potential or existing clean energy startups.

The Clean Energy Fellowship Program 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 Clean Energy Fellowship Program has received pilot funding from leading organizations focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, including the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

“The emerging clean energy cluster in New England has the potential to be a major economic force in the years to come,” said d’Arbeloff. “However, one of the biggest obstacles to cluster growth is the availability of experienced leadership; the Fellowship Program hits this need head on, and will help to ensure that there are seasoned executives ready and able to drive clean energy companies to critical mass.”

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 is a pilot for what is hoped will be an ongoing, Massachusetts-funded initiative.

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. The Council’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

About the John Adams Innovation Institute

The John Adams Innovation Institute, the economic development division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is entrusted with the management of two public purpose funds. These funds make targeted, strategic investments to strengthen industry clusters, support the research enterprise, and grow the Massachusetts Innovation Economy. For more information, please visit the agency’s website:

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has more than $2.4 billion in assets. More information is available at


For New England Clean Energy Council
Mike Reilly, 617-758-4154