Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs
will launch a new program to encourage
the creation of clean energy companies
by teaching experienced business professionals
about energy efficiency, renewable
energy and opportunities for new ventures.
Skidmore’s program, New York Executive
Clean Energy Leadership Institute (NY
EXCEL), is expected to lead to business
creation and job growth in upstate New
York, officials said.
The New York State Energy Research
and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is
providing $400,000 to support NY EXCEL.
NYSERDA officials said Skidmore will partner with the Syracuse Center of Excellence, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the New York Battery and Energy Storage Consortium, and the Pace Energy and Climate Center in the effort.
“With the launch of the NY EXCEL program, the state is fostering the growth of its clean energy economy by working with experienced business and investment professionals who have the insight and expertise in creating new cleantech business ventures,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA.
“The expansion of New York’s cleantech economy under Gov. Cuomo is supported by the strong partnerships that have been established between business, academia and the public sector. These collaborations are providing innovative approaches to meeting the demands of the state’s clean energy sector.”
“We are grateful for the confidence that NYSERDA has placed in Skidmore and our partner institutions,” said Skidmore College President Philip A. Glotzbach. “The New York Executive Clean Energy Leadership Institute will educate experienced executives on how to start and run successful energy efficiency and clean-energy companies in the state, which will increase the number of clean energy entrepreneurs, create wellpaying jobs in our communities and help address one of the most significant long-term challenges facing our nation and the world.”
The NY EXCEL program will combine one-on-one learning with structured opportunities for network development and individualized mentoring. Skidmore College will develop the content and oversee the program, said Glotzbach. Business and clean-energy experts from across the state will present content and act as mentors for participants.
“The Pace Energy and Climate Center is proud to partner with Skidmore, NY-BEST, Brookhaven and the Syracuse Center of Excellence on this important venture,” said Pace’s Deputy Director Tom Bourgeois, one of the experts in clean-energy solutions NY EXCEL aims to deploy.
“The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) is proud to serve as a partner for the NY EXCEL Program. As an organization committed to catalyzing and growing the battery and energy storage industry in New York State, we support the EXCEL program’s goals to provide assistance to clean tech entrepreneurs and create new clean-energy companies here in New York. We look forward to sharing our collective expertise and experience in batteries and energy storage technologies with the program’s participants,” said Dr. William Acker, executive director of NY-BEST.
The program kicks off in August 2014 with an intensive 30-hour classroom summer residency on the Skidmore campus.
Participants will then participate in five weekend visits to some of the state’s most important cleantech assets, such as wind farms, solar installations and manufacturers of clean technology materials or products.
The participants will also be required to develop a capstone project – a business plan to start a cleantech business in New York. Participants will be required to present their capstone projects to investors at the final capstone workshop, Glotzbach said.
Mentors with experience in the type of business the participant is starting will be assigned to each participant or project. All classes, visits, panels, discussions and the NY EXCEL website will be designed to help participants build a robust network in the cleantech sector.
The Skidmore program is one of a number of NYSERDA programs dedicated to growing cleantech business in the state.
For four years, NYSERDA has funded six cleantech incubators in Stony Brook, New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. These incubators have worked with 119 client companies, raising private capital of nearly $100 million, creating 89 new products and 292 new jobs, according to the agency.
NYSERDA also funds the Entrepreneursin- Residence Program (EIR), which links seasoned business leaders with early stage cleantech businesses that can benefit from mentoring. Companies working with EIRs have created a total of nearly 100 jobs in more than three years, officials said.
In addition, NYSERDA recently launched Proof of Concept Centers at High Tech Rochester, the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Columbia University to help clean-energy scientists and researchers turn conceptual ideas into commercial products.