Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial-Mindset at the Labs and Beyond

IMPEL+ is a Department of Energy tech-to-market program focused on building technologies, funded by the Building Technologies Office and implemented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. IMPEL+ helps early-stage innovators translate the premise and promise of their work into the language of business, boosting their chances of bringing their building technologies to market.

IMPEL+ stands for Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial Mindsets at the Labs and Beyond. Participants are building technology and program Innovators from business, academia, and DOE’s national labs.

Hear from Reshma Singh, Program Director talk about the IMPEL+ engine that accelerates climate tech in buildings and energy by recruiting and fostering a dynamic Innovator community, mentoring them to develop strong entrepreneurial skill sets, and enabling access to powerful public and private tech-to-market pipelines.

IMPEL+ Provides Unique & Customized Support to Innovators

Expert Coaches

IMPEL+ 's Coaches provide dynamic guidance during the one-day workshops to help Innovators refine and practice pitches for their projects to be clear, succinct, and compelling for their critical stakeholders. Our coaches are field experts: skilled entrepreneurs who have raised multi-million dollar funds, coached technologists towards successful commercialization, and judged startup pitches.

Meet this year's coaches here.

Incubators

IMPEL+ is partnering with Greentown Labs and the Austin Technology Incubator to provide additional pitching opportunities and connections to a broader pool of mentors, investors, and other innovators in climate-tech. They help Innovators engage with the private sector, gain fully-funded access to national pitch events, and accelerators.

Learn more about our partners here.

Mentors

IMPEL+ Mentors include investors from boutique and impact funds to financial giants; potential demonstration partners from major universities, state energy offices, and federal entities including the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense; and major corporate ventures, and subject matter experts from national labs. potential venture innovation partners.

Meet this year's Mentor Advisory Panel here.

The focus is on the building lifecycle–the design, construction, operations, and circular technologies–as well as energy technologies that integrate with buildings, such as onsite renewables or grid integration incorporating electrification, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging. This domain has been challenging for tech-to-market due to notoriously difficult and deep ‘valleys of death’.

IMPEL+ Events Support Innovator Growth & Opportunity

IMPEL+ Innovators begin their journey in our intensive workshops, which unlocks additional opportunities within the program.

Workshops

With the intensive guidance of IMPEL+'s Expert Coaches, Innovators refine and practice pitches for critical stakeholders. Activities include real-time tailored exercises, on-video training, and live one-on-one coaching with professional critique.

Learn more about the IMPEL+ Workshops here.

Business Seminars

After participating in an IMPEL+ workshop, selected Innovators will participate in three business seminars for personalized coaching to develop an initial business plan and customized strategies to address Competition, Product-market fit, Go-to-market strategy, Pricing and Revenue, and Organization.

Reverse Pitch

Officials from the National Laboratory System will present licensable intellectual property related to building energy use. Innovators will also hear from private investors, incubators, and public-sector grant programs on what they are looking for.

Showcase Events

Standout Innovators from each IMPEL+ workshop will be selected to pitch at the 2021 or 2022 BTO National Showcase events, or at Pitch events conducted by partnering incubator and accelerator organizations.

Who Should Apply to IMPEL+?

IMPEL+ offers unique pitch-training workshops to innovators working in the design, construction, and operations of buildings, or the building-to-grid space such as building-integrated renewables, electric vehicles, and energy storage.

Typically, IMPEL+ Innovators are earlier stage (Technology Readiness Levels 3-6), pre-revenue entrepreneurs and researchers or professionals with pre-commercial technologies, or pre-market programs. However, others with great ideas are also encouraged to apply.

For information about the types of projects Innovators bring to IMPEL+, read our FAQs.

Eligible applicants come from a variety of backgrounds

  • Entrepreneurs & Small Businesses who work in the built environment space such as engineering, architecture, urban design, facilities and real estate, healthy buildings, energy services, microgrids, data science etc.

  • National Lab Staff who conduct building and energy research

  • Non-Lab Awardees who have won Federal Opportunity Announcement Awards, Small Business Awards etc.

  • Faculty & Graduate Students who conduct building science R&D, or from BTO-affiliated university programs such as Solar Decathlon, JUMP into STEM, and others

  • Building Professionals who have new building innovation program ideas

Please note that this program is open only to U.S. residents.

Benefits to our Innovators

At the end of each IMPEL+ Workshop, Innovators will have developed well-formulated pitches with effective value propositions to non-technical audiences. This drives their building programs and technologies towards public or private sector engagement and funds and market impact. IMPEL+ Coaches help Innovators develop a refined roadmap for their projects by providing a deeper understanding of market factors.

Following participation in the IMPEL+ workshops, Innovators will be eligible for two types of tech-to-market pipelines in which additional pitching and mentoring opportunities are offered through IMPEL's Partner Organizations.

Many of our Innovators have moved on to win funding and recognition; check out the IMPEL+ Success Stories and Testimonials.

Public Sector Pipelines

IMPEL+ Innovators seeking public sector engagement will be eligible to pitch to public sector leaders at the IMPEL+ National Showcases hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, with an audience of DOE leaders and industry experts.

Private Sector Pipelines

IMPEL+ Innovators seeking private sector engagement will be eligible to gain fully-funded access to national pitch events, accelerators, and network connections. IMPEL provides this support through our two partner Incubators, the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) and Greentown Labs.