What is PowerBridgeNY?
With $10M in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), PowerBridgeNY’s mission is to turn cleantech innovations from the academic research labs of our six partner institutions into strong, cleantech businesses in New York State. PowerBridgeNY is two separate proof-of-concept centers (POCC), both funded by NYSERDA, collaborating as one entity. One POCC is led by Columbia University and includes Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cornell Tech, and Stony Brook University. The other POCC is led by the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University and includes the City University of New York.
PowerBridgeNY has two main initiatives:
The PowerBridgeNY accelerator is for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate the commercialization of their cleantech. The accelerator helps technologists to determine product-market fit, de-risk their technologies by building early prototypes, and to validate their technology through customer and industry interactions. This is done by offering teams up to $150K to conduct 100 Customer Discovery interviews and develop a prototype or conduct in-field testing to move the technology closer to commercialization via a startup (preferable) or license. During the accelerator, we host a series of events and monthly check-ins using the NSF I-Corps/Lean LaunchPad Methodology as well as subsidize the cost of necessary services, provide industry Mentors, and arrange pro bono office hours with experts in law, finance, grant writing, and more.
Hacking for Energy (H4E), is a graduate-level course that launched in Spring 2017. Designed in the vein of Steve Blank’s Hacking for Defense course at Stanford, the purpose of H4E is to tap university talent, match them with real-world energy problems, and seed the next, best entrepreneurs in cleantech. H4E is a flipped classroom: graduate students, working in interdisciplinary groups, are given 14 weeks to solve real energy challenges posed by large companies using the Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship methodology. At the end of the course, the student teams present their findings at a public and live streamed event. H4E was first taught at Columbia in Spring 2017 and open to Columbia, NYU and CUNY students. In Spring 2018, it will be expanded to other universities. Learn more about Hacking for Energy on its website.