On May 16th, New England Clean Energy Council and the Boston University School of Management celebrated the graduation of the 2012 class of Fellows of the Leading Clean Energy Ventures (LCEV) program, growing the ranks of cleantech savvy entrepreneurs by 12.
LCEV is an innovative development program designed to rapidly transition experienced entrepreneurs and executives into the region’s clean energy sector. During the semester-long program, Fellows learn about the complexity of energy markets and are exposed to a significant number of cleantech companies at various stages of development, from recent startups housed in an incubator to companies that have seen a successful exit and are now a division of a much larger, well-established firm.
For all the education, it is the entrepreneurial focus and applied learning in developing and honing the Fellows’ “Capstone” projects that makes the experience, in the words of the students “inspiring,” “surprising,” and “extraordinary.” These Capstone projects represent early business ideas focused on solving a real world market challenge. This year’s crop of projects ranged from new technologies focused on improving water quality to harnessing wave energy, from improved processes to manufacture fuel cells to a host of novel financing strategies for solar development projects. The businesses were varied, the opportunities vast, the challenges real, and the atmosphere inspiring.
Fellows have, in the past, taken their Capstone projects forward to plant the seeds of new startup businesses. In other cases, Fellows have drawn on the knowledge and network gained on the program to go on to develop and fund different clean tech businesses, while others have entered into public service and now contribute to the development of the broader innovation ecosystem – LCEV graduates go on to make a difference.
Since the Fellows program was introduced in 2008, the focus of entrepreneurial endeavors has changed to reflect the landscape of the clean energy market. Keeping pace with these changes, LCEV continues to serve as a catalyst to help transition successful entrepreneurs to the exciting world of clean energy. Congratulations to the newest LCEV Fellows – now, go execute those Capstone projects and make the world a better place.