Apply to PowerBridgeNY

PowerBridgeNY is no longer accepting applications.

After being in operation since 2013, the PowerBridgeNY program will come to an end in September 2020 with its final cohort of Cycle 6 awardees issued in May 2019.

PowerBridgeNY was designed for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate the commercialization of their cleantech. The accelerator helped technologists to determine product-market fit, de-risk their technologies by building early prototypes, and to validate their technology through customer and industry interactions. Teams received 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, teams participated in a series of workshop events and monthly check-ins using the NSF I-Corps/Lean LaunchPad Methodology to identify their initial business model and technical requirements for their minimum viable product. PowerBridgeNY also subsidized the cost of necessary services, provided industry Mentors, and arranged pro bono office hours with experts in law, finance, grant writing, and more. Learn more about the benefit the program has had for awardees below and through the PowerBridgeNY 5 Year Impact Report originally published in 2018 after the awarding of the Cycle 5 teams.

  • 6 cycles administered
  • 165 applications received
  • 38 teams funded
  • $4.6M in funding awarded by PowerBridgeNY to teams
  • $40M awarded to teams in grants and investments from other sources after participating in PBNY
  • Roughly 1/2 of the teams are still actively pursuing commercialization

It’s been great working with the whole team of PowerBridgeNY. The amount of learning and experience I have collected from the start of the program has been invaluable to me. I am very grateful to all the members of PBNY, mentors, judges, and Prof.Orlov to giving me this wonderful opportunity. Looking back, I can remember my first presentation for PB and I-corp Bootcamp over which I have significantly improved over the course of one year.
– Shrish Patel, Entrepreneurial Lead of Cycle 5 awardee SolarClear

Starting out with no entrepreneurial experience, PowerBridgeNY was invaluable in providing the guidance and steps needed to understand who our customers will be, what problems they have, and what value our technology can deliver to help solve those problems.
–Jeff Laut, Entrepreneurial Lead of Cycle 3 awardee Manifold Robotics

I hold [PowerBridgeNY] as the highest standard of Pitch Competitions. I really feel like [the PBNY administrators] all have nailed the application process, and I always point people to [them] as the example. The fact that [they] are continuing to learn and refine is also impressive. [They] all have done an excellent job.
– Blake Stevens, Associate Vice President, Head of Alexandria LaunchLabs – NYC


Determine Eligibility

You work at a lab at one of the 6 universities and have a technology that you think could have a positive impact on the environment. You want to test, “is this worth something?” For this phase, please review the FAQs, and Full Proposal Application Checklist. We also strongly suggest that you attend an info session in late summer / early fall.


Apply to PowerBridgeNY

You (principal investigator) and your entrepreneurial lead apply to the program by submitting a pre-proposal application including a 2-minute video and a brief write-up on the technology and potential markets.


Attend Bootcamp

Teams invited to submit a full proposal must participate in a customer discovery bootcamp with other applicants. Rejected Pre-Proposal applicants may still be able to participate in the bootcamp if there are enough spots, those would be available on a first-come, first served basis.


Submit Full Proposal

After the bootcamp, you will need to expand on your pre-proposal and submit a full proposal for your project.


Pitch Your Idea

After submitting the full proposal, select applicants will be invited to pitch their idea to us and members of our Judge panel.



If you pass all of the above steps, you are accepted into PowerBridgeNY! Accepted teams will be given the first tranche of the $150K and will earn the other tranches over the next 12-18 months by completing technical and business milestones.

Application Resources

1. Full Detailed Schedule
This includes all the tasks that applicants of the PowerBridgeNY program will be required to complete. We strongly suggest that you review this document before applying to ensure that you understand the demands of the PowerBridgeNY program. This does not include the full schedule of the applicant bootcamp.

2. Applicant Bootcamp Schedule
This is the full detailed schedule of the applicant bootcamp.

3. Full Proposal Application Checklist
This is a helpful checklist to have on hand as you fill out your pre-application for the PowerBridgeNY program.

4. Info Sheet
A quick one-sheet with an overview of the program.

5. Info Session Slides
The slides from our info sessions that describe the program.

6. Pre-Proposal Sample Questions
This document is for reference only. Actual pre-proposal questions may differ.

7. Ignition Grant Guidelines
The Ignition Grant ($50K) is only available to teams have been awarded and completed all of the milestones for a $150K Validation Grant.

8. PowerBridgeNY Wiki
Our Wiki contains information on the overall application and judging process for the Validation Grants as well as more information about PowerBridgeNY in general.

9. PowerBridgeNY Curriculum
Get a deeper understanding of how we help our awardees commercialize their technology by reviewing the PowerBridgeNY curriculum.