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California Energy Commission Grants Cleantech San Diego Follow-On Funding to Continue Momentum of Energy Startup Accelerator

  |   Press Releases, Startup

The Southern California Energy Innovation Network has been funded for five more years


SAN DIEGO, CA, June 14, 2021The California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) voted at its June 9 business meeting to approve follow-on funding to continue Cleantech San Diego’s Southern California Energy Innovation Network (SCEIN) for five more years to help advance California’s energy innovation industry.


SCEIN is an accelerator program for clean energy startups based in San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial counties that are developing technologies to help California meet its clean energy goals. The program offers free business services through a consortium of regional partner organizations to help energy entrepreneurs successfully bring their innovations to market. Cleantech San Diego launched the program in 2016. The Energy Commission’s approval of follow-on funding extends SCEIN’s ability to provide the region’s energy startup community with industry connections, research and testing facilities, pilot project opportunities, and policy guidance, among other custom program services, though 2026.


SCEIN is one of four innovation clusters the Energy Commission supports across the state as part of its California Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.


“Since its launch five years ago, the Southern California Energy Innovation Network has delivered a multitude of benefits to California ratepayers while advancing the state’s climate goals,” said California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild. “Cleantech San Diego has done a remarkable job leading the program, and the Energy Commission is pleased to extend its funding and continue the momentum it has built helping energy entrepreneurs attract investment and accelerate a path to market.”


Over the program’s first five years of operation, SCEIN member companies have commercialized innovative technologies that are accelerating market transformation in transportation electrification, grid and building decarbonization, efficiency, and resiliency.


To date, 50 companies have been served by SCEIN, 37 of which are currently active in the program. Together, these startups employ 320 people, have had 134 patents approved, and have raised more than $162 million in private and public investment since being accepted into the program. 74 percent of SCEIN companies have diverse representation in their C-suite leadership teams (59 percent women, 53 percent minorities, 24 percent veterans).


“Cleantech San Diego’s Southern California Energy Innovation Network supports entrepreneurs who embody San Diego’s innovative spirit,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “Fostering early-stage innovation and cutting-edge ideas are some of the best ways to create good jobs for San Diegans. Cleantech San Diego’s leadership on this front has created powerful economic opportunities and improved environmental health across the region.”


“We appreciate this vote of confidence from the CEC to continue the SCEIN program for another five years,” said SCEIN executive director Marty Turock. “With this extension, we can continue supporting startup companies with breakthrough technologies that will enable California to achieve its decarbonization goals while growing our clean energy economy in ways that will benefit all Californians.”


“The Southern California Energy Innovation Network continues to be a critical resource for our business,” said Orianna Bretschger, CEO and founder of SCEIN member Aquacycl, an award-winning cleantech water startup. “The SCEIN management team, mentors, service providers, learning opportunities, and investor connections have been pivotal in helping our company grow. The resources and introductions provided by SCEIN have helped Aquacycl meet funding goals, build our team, and better leverage and expand our network.”


“Cleantech San Diego and the SCEIN program changed the trajectory of our business tremendously,” said Paul Francis, founder and CEO of SCEIN member KIGT, a smart grid and energy services company. “In two years. KIGT has grown from a team of four to fifteen people and is projected to install thousands of EV Charging Stations in the next two years.”


“The Southern California Energy Innovation Network is not only helping the next wave of energy entrepreneurs bring their technologies to market, but it is ensuring the San Diego region and the state of California remain competitive in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson.


SCEIN applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Anyone interested in applying as an entrepreneur, becoming a mentor, joining the Technical Advisory Committee, or hosting a pilot demonstration project, can learn more at cleantechsandiego.org/scein.


Media Contact:
Shannon Bresnahan, Cleantech San Diego, 858-568-7777, shannonb@cleantechsandiego.org



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