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.
Our program helps early-stage individuals from business, academia, and DOE’s national labs translate the premise and promise of their technology into the language of business, boosting their chances of bringing it to market. These individuals–or as we call them, IMPEL Innovators–have a passion for the building lifecycle (design, construction, operations, and circular technologies) and for energy technologies that integrate with buildings (onsite renewables or grid integration incorporating electrification, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging). The buildings sector has been notoriously challenging for bringing tech-to-market, where many new projects or businesses fall victim to the notorious ‘valleys of death’.
IMPEL has a strong theory of change: Support technological transformations for net zero built infrastructure, that promotes equitable wellness and resilience for all.
Our Innovators have projects that drive:
Decarbonization: Radically reduce embodied and operational carbon and drive circularity for a zero-carbon built environment;
Digitalization: Integrate data-driven intelligence and connectedness across buildings and buildings-edge, i.e. distributed energy resources, (micro-)grids, and communities;
Democratization: Provide equitable access to wellness in a resilient, living environment.
Meet our 2023 Innovator cohort
From attractive and efficient solar roofing tiles equipped with batteries for energy storage; to hemp-based, fire-resistant cladding for homes in wildfire zones; to modular interiors designed to transform vacant buildings into comfortable, affordable apartments–our 2023 cohort is bringing innovative, climate-smart building technologies to market. Learn more about the cohort on our 2023 Innovators page.
Innovators reach new heights after IMPEL.
After going through our program cycle, Innovators find themselves achieving new successes and progressing in their tech-to-market journeys.
Source: Alumni Survey, November 2022; Alumni Survey and Success Story Submission Form, April 202
Hear IMPEL Program Director Reshma Singh 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 Coaching & Opportunities
Innovators begin their IMPEL journey in intensive workshops, where our Expert Coaches provide a deeper understanding of market factors that help Innovators develop a better project roadmap. Following participation in the IMPEL workshops, Innovators will be eligible for additional opportunities to receive technical training through the Carbon Tools Webinar, business plan development through a series of Business Seminars, and additional pitching and mentoring opportunities through program partners at the U.S. Department of Energy and Greentown Labs.
With the intensive guidance of IMPEL 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.
Mentoring and Office Hours
IMPEL Innovators meet individually with the program's Executive Team and Mentors for an opportunity to apply learnings from the workshop, and receive specific, actionable feedback about their projects.
All Innovators will be invited to a Carbon Tools webinar presented by scientists and researchers to introduce tools for estimating the embodied and operational energy and carbon impacts of building energy technologies and materials.
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.
After participating in an IMPEL workshop, downselected 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.
Standout Innovators from each IMPEL workshop will be selected to pitch at the 2023 BTO National Showcase event, the 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or at Pitch events conducted by partnering incubator and accelerator organizations.
Visit the IMPEL Pipelines page for more information about each of these pillars of IMPEL programming.
IMPEL Connects Innovators to Experts
The IMPEL Executive Team at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab supports Innovators' journeys through every step of the program, while connecting them to Expert Coaches, Incubators, Mentors, and a wider network within the building technology space.
Read more below about the types of experts that IMPEL offers.
IMPEL Coaches provide dynamic guidance during the one-day workshops to help Innovators refine and practice verbal pitches to communicate their technology or idea clearly, succinctly, and compellingly to critical stakeholders. Our coaches are field experts: skilled entrepreneurs who have raised multi-million dollar funds, judged startup pitches, coached technologists towards successful commercialization.
IMPEL has partnered with Greentown Labs to provide real 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.
IMPEL Mentors represent 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, major corporate ventures, and subject matter experts from national labs.
Diverse, equitable, and inclusive
We believe that a diverse, equitable, and inclusive ecosystem of innovators magnifies our impact on the future of climate technology and on the communities we serve.