April 12, 2023

From Pitch Perfect to Business Plans: A Journey Through IMPEL's Recent In-Person Trainings

IMPEL has been bustling with activity as it continues in its fifth year of fostering innovation and empowering budding entrepreneurs through a series of impactful in-person programming, including workshops and business seminars.

August 30, 2023

DOE’s IMPEL Innovators are Developing Technologies that Slash Building Emissions, Save Energy, and Keep People Comfortable — Even in a Summer Like This One

This article was published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Building Technologies Office (BTO) on their website.

As one of the hottest years in recorded history makes the need for energy-efficient, comfortable, and low-carbon buildings crystal clear, innovators participating in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) accelerator program IMPEL are accelerating their journey from idea to market with scientifically vetted technologies designed to meet that need.

Building a Better Tomorrow: Building Sector Pitch Day with IMPEL and Go Build 2023 with Saint-Gobain

This piece comes from Greentown Labs' July 2023 Partner Digest Newsletter.

We’ve had buildings on our brain recently—and with good reason! Buildings represent eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the sector is ripe for innovation as we completely rethink and reshape how we design, construct, and manage the built environment.

July 5, 2023

IMPEL: Propelling Emerging Building Technologies to the Forefront of Construction

This article by Anca Gagiuc was published in Commercial Property Executive.

Packaging innovative ideas to appeal to investors can be challenging. Here’s how the DOE-funded program can help.

March 20, 2023

Tiny Energy-Funded Office Turbocharges Clean Tech Businesses

This article by Stephen Lee was published in Bloomberg Law.

A small office at a national energy lab is having an outsize impact in helping small businesses advance the White House’s goal of lowering the climate footprint of buildings.

February 13, 2023

DOE’s IMPEL innovators secure over $75 million in funding

This article by Robin Whitlock was published in Renewable Energy Magazine.

As carbon emissions from buildings and construction hit record highs, a program supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) – IMPEL - has converged a network of researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, and policy experts to ensure that next-generation building decarbonization technologies achieve wide-scale deployment.

September 30, 2022

2023 IMPEL Kickoff Webinar

This year’s IMPEL Kickoff Webinar brought together the core team from Berkeley Lab, and our roster of expert coaches, mentor panel, advisors at DOE, and a few Innovators from last year’s cohort. View a recording of the kickoff to learn about new activities planned for the FY23 program cycle, and how IMPEL supports Innovators in the building sector to move their technology towards commercialization.

September 29, 2022

2022 Cohort Wraps Up IMPEL: Learnings, Achievements, and Looking Ahead

Between pitch coaching, networking, and tirelessly working to hone products and pitches, IMPEL’s 2022 Innovator cohort found many ways to inspire others and crush new milestones in the building technology space. Read about the Innovator highlights, private sector pitch events, and the launch of IMPEL's new year.

July 6, 2022

Norah Magero Wins Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2022 Africa Tech Prize, Aided by Special Collaboration Between IMPEL and Techwomen Program

IMPEL would like to congratulate Norah Magero, CEO and co-founder of Drop Access for Sustainable Communities, on winning the Royal Academy of Engineering's 2022 Africa Tech Prize for Engineering Innovation!

During her time in the U.S. Dept. of State's TechWomen program, Norah worked with IMPEL to develop her pitch and hone her entrepreneurial skills using the program's pitch coaching methods and techniques.

IMPEL was able to sit down and interview Norah about this exciting achievement, her innovation Vaccibox, and where she'll go next.

June 30, 2022

Great Energy and Genuine Connections: Innovators Wrap Up IMPEL and Greentown Labs’ 2022 Building Tech Pitch Day

Another group of IMPEL Innovators had the opportunity to pitch and network at IMPEL and Greentown Labs' (GTL) Building Tech Pitch Day, an in-person event with investors and corporate ventures.

In addition to the pitch day, eight of our Innovators will receive continued programming and connection through the GTL incubator for the rest of this year! Our partnership with GTL is helping Innovators continue to find more opportunities and network, even beyond their time at IMPEL.

June 21, 2022

Breaking into the Climate Tech Market: Five IMPEL Innovators Land Recognitions at EarthX Summit; Watch Them Present at ATI Flash Decision Day

Coming off of the widely successful EarthX E-Capital Summit event, five IMPEL Innovators are headed to ATI’s upcoming FLASH Decision Day on June 27th from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM CT. These Innovators have been hard at work over the past six weeks– receiving mentoring and hands-on training, all to setting them up to come out of these events well-prepared and eager to overcome what lies ahead in their tech-to-market journeys. They’ll present their progress at Decision Day, which you can register for here.

March 25, 2022

Learning the Business of Building Technologies

Each year, the IMPEL program begins with Pitch Coaching Workshops that guide small businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers towards crafting the fundamentals of a pitch.  This year, IMPEL has expanded its curriculum specifically for mid-TRL Innovators looking to develop a comprehensive business plan framework. This second phase of the program–named the IMPEL Business Seminars–are accelerated and iterative seminars that dive deeper into Innovators' revenue models, go-to-market and sales strategies, competition and differentiation approaches, and more. In its inaugural year, these Business Seminars were held across three consecutive days in March. 

March 11, 2022

IMPEL Mentor Advisory Panel Meets with 2022 Innovator Cohort

Over the first two weeks of March, the IMPEL  Mentor Advisory Panel met with our 2022 Cohort of Building Technology Innovators in an intensive series of group mentoring sessions. Innovators presented a five minute pitch deck, as Mentors offered insights into the perspective of a potential investor, demonstration expert, entrepreneur, or technical expert. 

These Mentors represent boutique and impact funds, major universities, state energy offices, and federal entities including the General Services Administration, the U.S. Department of Defense, major corporate ventures, and the National Labs.

IMPEL thanks our Mentors for generously sharing their time, expertise, and actionable feedback. We also thank our Innovators for bravely taking another step towards commercialization by receiving this critical and necessary feedback. 

March 8, 2022

IMPEL Carbon Tools Webinar

IMPEL hosted a Carbon Tools webinar on March 7 to help Innovators estimate the impact of their small business towards reducing carbon emissions. These estimates could be used to help Innovators gauge the efficacy of their service or technology, while providing them with science-backed estimates to substantiate their pitch to a potential investor or partner.

This webinar featured three embodied and operational carbon tools, and their relevance to the buildings sector:

February 18, 2022

To Decarbonize Buildings, Think Like An Entrepreneur

This article by IMPEL Program Director Reshma Singh was published in Smart Cities Dive.

Cities, states, labor and industry recently announced that they’re teaming up with the Biden administration to launch the Building Performance Standards Coalition, a first-of-its-kind partnership dedicated to slashing the building sector’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to create healthier, cleaner, more affordable buildings and jobs that pay well.

In this decisive decade for climate action, the effort couldn’t be more timely. It’s critical to remember that even our best, most innovative ideas won’t have any impact if they never reach the market. 

Buildings and construction have immediate climate impacts as well as lasting market and societal implications. They’re responsible for about 40% of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions, with operations accounting for 28% and embodied emissions from construction and materials like steel and cement accounting for 11%. Thus, well-funded building innovation supported by smart climate policy is critical for the transformation of the built environment.

Photo: ferrantraite via Getty Images

November 2, 2021

IMPEL Announces New Mentor Advisory Panel, Moves COP26 Mid-Century Climate Goals to This Decisive Decade 

The policies and politics of climate change are at stake at the COP26 Summit this week, with global leaders committing to net zero by mid-century.  At IMPEL, we believe that this decade is critical for climate action. This can be done in part by accelerating building technologies that are ripe for near-term impact. 

To guide IMPEL’s  building Innovators who can make an impact in this decisive decade, we are proud to announce the IMPEL Mentor Advisory Panel that adds a new depth of expertise to our program. These industry leaders bring a broad base of tech-to-market knowledge to IMPEL, and will help Innovators navigate over the “Valleys of Death” as often experienced on the path to commercialization. Mentor learning forums include group and one-and-one mentoring sessions, IMPEL’s Reverse Pitch event, and potential access to the Mentors’ powerful pipelines and networks. 

The twenty mentors joining IMPEL this year come from boutique and global investment groups, government agencies like the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Lab network, and the private sector.

October 28, 2021

IMPEL Your Building Solutions to Scale

World-class leaders from the worlds of investing, technology, the public sector, and business are lending their expertise to the Department of Energy’s 2022 IMPEL accelerator, with a mission to speed commercialization of technologies that slash buildings’ carbon footprint — an essential and urgent aspect of curbing climate change. 

“In the U.S., buildings are responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions – more than any other sector,” said Dr. Carolyn Snyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE. “President Biden has set a goal of cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030 compared to a 2005 baseline, and meeting that target will require dramatic improvements in building energy efficiency and rapid deployment of grid-integration and clean-energy technologies for buildings. IMPEL is helping some of the most exciting, advanced building technologies get into the marketplace, where they can help slash emissions.”  Read the entire article at the DOE's site here!

Photos: Laura Wong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

October 6, 2021

IMPEL Kickoff Webinar on October 6th at 12pm Pacific

​​This season, IMPEL is adding three new tracks for building technologies and programs: Decarbonize, Digitalize, and Democratize, with expert Mentor Panels to help innovators along their progress. A new series of Business Seminars and Reverse Pitch events are key additions to the IMPEL pitch coaching workshops, a core activity of the program since its inception in 2019.

View a recording of the program kickoff webinar from October 6, and see how we can help you reach your climate tech-to-market vision! 

August 31, 2021

IMPEL End of Season Video: One day, or Day One?

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 provides fully-funded (i.e.: free to them) national pitch coaching and incubation support for building and energy innovators. 

July 15, 2021

IMPEL+ Innovators Accelerate Low-Carbon Buildings Future with Help from DOE Building Technologies Office

Consider these ingenious innovations that can transform our buildings:  

These are just a few of the many technologies getting closer to commercialization thanks to this year’s IMPEL+ cohort. IMPEL+ helps early-stage innovators translate the premise and promise of their work into the language of business, boosting their chances of bringing their technologies to market.

June 30, 2021

Greentown, IMPEL+, and the DOE are Teaming Up–Meet the Building Tech Startups We're Supporting

This spring, Greentown Labs collaborated with IMPEL+ to host a building tech pitch day, which featured seven startups that are leading the way in sustainable building innovations. The event was a platform for strategic connections between the startups and Greentown and IMPEL+’s combined network of corporates, public agencies, investors, and others who can play a key role in startups’ success. Through the summer and fall, these startups will have continued access to Greentown's member-only programming, which is designed to equip startups with the connections and knowledge they need to succeed.

Read the full announcement and meet these seven leading building tech startups at the link below.

Photo: Reshma Singh, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

June 9, 2021

ATI Helps Promising Innovators from IMPEL+ Take their Next Step in the Private Sector Pipeline

The Austin Technology Incubator is a commercial partner for IMPEL+, with two of their programs being a great next step in the private sector pipeline for some of the most promising innovators who participate in the IMPEL+ program.

Click the link below to read about this year's EarthX and SEAL programs led by ATI, and the IMPEL+ programs that took part in it.

May 3, 2021

What's Next for Building Tech?

IMPEL+, the Building Technologies Office (BTO) of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Greentown Labs discuss how collaboration is key to getting building technologies to market.

Listen to the conversation about our work together on IMPEL+, how the public and private sectors can collaborate to support building tech startups from earlier through later stages, how science and commercialization can co-develop, and what innovation trends they’re seeing in the sector.

February 5, 2021

February Newsletter: 30 Innovators Pitch at Recent IMPEL+ Workshops

While the community of building technologists is relatively small and specialized, the range of innovative projects and applications in the field is vast. IMPEL+ 2021 Innovators are a reflection of this diversity, pitching projects such as Kyoung Hee Kim of EcoClosure's microalgae window retrofitting to improve indoor air quality, to Adam Landsman of PulseIQ's use of data analytics to optimize building performance, to Tommy Gibbons of Hempitecture's hemp-based, sustainable building insulation, just to name a few examples.

December 14, 2020

A panel of "sharks" converged at the EERE-NASEO Shark Tank on December 4, 2020. This high-profile event was a unique partnership between the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIP), Building Technologies Office (BTO) and National Association of State Energy Offices (NASEO) to help states partner with entrepreneurs to increase market access for energy-saving technologies.

December 14, 2020

Five IMPEL+ Innovators pitched their hardtech to industry and government leaders at the inspiring BTO Peer PReview on November 17, 2020. The Expert Panel were New Story COO Alexandria Lafci, Treau CTO Kipp Bradford and Austin Technology Incubator CSO Erin Keys.

December 9, 2020

IMPEL+ Success in Two National Showcases

Eight IMPEL+ Innovators recently pitched their technologies at two prestigious national events in the past month, showcasing inventive ideas to industry and government experts and investors, aimed at making U.S. buildings smarter, more energy-efficient, and grid-responsive. 

The 2020 season culminated in two prestigious national showcases. IMPEL+ Innovators were selected to pitch at the showcases based on the strength of their performances in the IMPEL+ program. Read more about these events at the link below.

December 9, 2020

IMPEL+ New 2021 Virtual Program

Applications are now open for building and energy technology scientists and innovators to participate in a unique incubator that helps propel your ideas to market. While millions of dollars are spent for R&D and small businesses for energy technologies, only a portion of these reach users and create value.

Over the past year, nearly 70 buildings innovators gained critical technology-to-market pitch communication skills at four intensive IMPEL+ workshops held across the country. This cohort of selected IMPEL+ Innovators included building technology researchers from national laboratories, small business owners, university faculty members and graduate students, as well as building architects, engineers, and entrepreneurs. 

Photo: Laura Wong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

June 12, 2020

How would you describe IMPEL+ in one word? Hear directly from these 2020 IMPEL+ Innovators about our unique pitch-coaching workshop for building technology innovators and entrepreneurs.

June 19, 2020

View photos from the IMPEL+ Workshop held virtually on June 19, 2020.

February 14, 2020

View photos from the IMPEL+ Workshop held in Boston, MA on June 19, 2020.

Photo: Laura Wong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

December 6, 2019

View photos from the IMPEL+ Workshop held in Washington DC on December 6, 2019.

Photo: Laura Wong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

December 6, 2019

View photos from the IMPEL+ Workshop held in Berkeley, CA on November 15, 2019.

Photo: Laura Wong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

May 13, 2019

IMPEL Your Building Technology Idea

Five Lab Innovation Teams, chosen and assembled from the ranks of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Lab family, successfully finished the 2018-2019 "Incubating Market-Propelled Entrepreneurial-mindset at the Labs” (IMPEL) program. IMPEL is an eight-month, professional development program funded by the Building Technologies Office (BTO), within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and implemented by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. IMPEL provides promising scientists with mentorship from building industry professionals, monthly expert webinars, and pitch coaching from Silicon Valley specialists.

December 11, 2018

Photo Gallery: IMPEL Virtual Pitch Coaching Event

View photos from the IMPEL Virtual Pitch Coaching event held on December 11, 2018.

December 6, 2018

IMPEL Webinar 4: Industrialized Construction R&D

The promise of connected buildings and the pervasive sensor technologies enabling their design and deployment will require a series of innovations in building materials, fabrication techniques and data science. From digital design to off-site fabrication, construction, and commissioning, traditional stakeholders in the construction industry are increasingly asked to accommodate a set of emerging needs, fundamentally shifting the demands on them and their capabilities in order to be successful. Read the full webinar description and speaker bios at the link below.

November 8, 2018

IMPEL Webinar 3: Ideation to Reality: The Journey from Technology Development to a Building a Thriving Business

Join Dr. Amit Narayan as he discusses the challenges and rewards of taking an idea from an incubator to market. As an expert entrepreneur Dr. Narayan has founded 2 companies, published over 25 papers in the area of design automation. Narayan also holds seven US patents and is an active advisor to several startup companies in the bay area. Dr. Narayan will discuss his own impressive personal journey from the research lab to launching market-ready products.

Topics of discussion and Dr. Narayan's bio can be found at the link below.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Amit Narayan

October 30, 2018

IMPEL Webinar 2: Delivering on the Promise of Healthy, Energy Efficient Buildings

Since the early 2000s, the drive for improved energy efficiency, sustainability, survivability and occupant health has caused forward-thinkers to question “How we can deliver on the promise of healthy, affordable, energy efficient buildings without changing the way we build?” It was then that the industry began experimenting with designs for continuously insulated, modular, prefabricated building panels. This deep dive into the many challenges that prefabricators must overcome if they are to succeed in transforming the way we build. David shares many lessons learned and identifies some remaining obstacles. This webinar is especially relevant for the two IMPEL teams focused on building materials.

Speaker bio can be found at the link below.

October 5, 2018

IMPEL Webinar 1: Building Technologies to Market Mechanisms

Elsie Quaite Randall, Chief Technology Transfer Officer, Berkeley Lab, describes models of lab-industry partnerships, that can help scale R&D into commercialization. This is intended to inform building technologies and software tools researchers, and potential industry collaborators about the partnering and IP mechanisms that can support and encourage partnerships.

Corinne A. Allen from the DOE Office of Tech Transfer provides a short presentation on Build4Scale. It trains energy hardware innovators to avoid the common pitfalls of product design by teaching them manufacturing design fundamentals in the early stages of prototype development, and provides them with the information they need to work with manufacturers on first production runs.

Speaker bios can be found at the link below.

August 20, 2018

Photo Gallery: IMPEL Training Event at the Energy Exchange

View photos from the IMPEL training event held at the Energy Exchange on August 20, 2018.

Photo: Eric Hanson, U.S. Department of Energy

April 24, 2018

IMPEL Elevator Pitch Session

Developing a succinct pitch seems simple but actually takes a lot of brainpower and is best done with outside feedback. In this video, Berkeley Lab and Cyclotron Road researchers practice pitches for promising technologies with coaching from experienced entrepreneur Christina Ellwood. The intent of the IMPEL channel is to foster a culture of market awareness within DOE labs to help direct future research, and develop innovative lab ideas into teams, assets, and source funding. This can help to drive high impact, industry-relevant technologies from early stage R&D to private sector uptake. This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.