About the Program

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.

The PowerBridgeNY program will come to an end in September 2020 with its final cohort of Cycle 6 awardees issued in May 2019.

PowerBridgeNY has three main initiatives:

The PowerBridgeNY accelerator is for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to commercialize their cleantech inventions. The accelerator helps technologists determine product-market fit, de-risk their technologies by building early prototypes, and validate their technology through customer and industry interactions. Teams use awards of up to $150K to conduct 100 Customer Discovery interviews using the NSF I-Corps/Lean LaunchPad methodology and develop a prototype or conduct in-field testing. Teams are encouraged to submit any funded research outcomes for publication in academic journals, as usual. During the program, teams also attend a series of events designed to educate them on the basics of founding and operating a startup. Finally, teams receive access to industry mentors and subsidized essential startups resources, such as pitch coaching, SBIR/STTR consultants, lawyers, financial advisers, and more.

Hacking for Energy  (H4E) is a graduate-level course that launched in Spring 2017 for students at Columbia University, NYU, and CUNY. 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 use the Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship methodology to solve real energy challenges posed by large companies. At the end of the course during the 14 week semester. The students work closely with their Industry Host and speak with many other industry professionals to understand the context and importance of the problem before beginning to develop a solution. Learn more about Hacking for Energy on its website.

NYS Cleantech Venture Exchange (CVX) is a program to identify, match, and integrate business/executive talent in C-level roles with early stage cleantech companies.  A critical aspect of commercializing technology is finding the right team members to bring technologies to market.

Contact us for an application, if you are a:

  • New York State-based cleantech startup looking for a CEO or C-Level candidate
  • Serial entrepreneur or experienced business professional interested in joining a cleantech startup

The PowerBridgeNY Team

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Jim Aloise

Executive Director
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Julia Byrd

Associate Director
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Tim Hoffman

Managing Director, CVX
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Maria Grillo

Project Associate

University Partners

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Orin Herskowitz

Columbia University
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Kurt Becker

New York University
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John Blaho

City University of New York
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Fernando Gomez-Baquero

Cornell Tech
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Lee Chetheam

Brookhaven National Laboratory
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Donna Tummiello

Stonybrook University

Current Judges

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Andrew Reid

Senior Scientist
ConEd
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Ben Sampson

Director
GE Ventures
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Blake Stevens

Executive Director
LaunchLabs
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Christopher Cavanagh

Director
National Grid
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Cyril Yee

US Cleantech Lead
IP Group
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David Cruikshank

Partner
Arch Ventures
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David Dorsey

Tech Investor
Osage Partners
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Edward Greer

Manager
DOW Chemical Company
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Jake Berlin

Principal,
Distributed Energy Resources ICF
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Jean Noel Poirier

Executive Managing Directorn
Clean Energy Venture Group
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Josh Gould

Utility of the Future Con Edison
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Parker White

Co-founder
Usurp Power
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Serena Lee

Project Manager
Con Edison
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Shirley Speakman

Partner
Cycle Capital
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Steve Kloos

Partner
True North Ventures

Past Judges

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John Lee

Analyst
Osage Ventures
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Margarett Jolly

Director of Research and
Development ConEd
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Mark Johnson

Smart Cities Chief
Schneider Electric
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Nena Golubovic

Director,
Physical Sciences IP Group
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Praveen Sahay

Managing Director
WAVE Equity Partners