Climate change / Environment / Startups

Exelon looks to invest in startups with $20M climate change initiative

The Fortune 100 energy company is looking to back startups working on clean energy and environmental technology in six cities, including D.C.

Marching to protect climate change science. (Photo by Flickr user Molly Adams, used under a Creative Commons license.)

Exelon is making $20 million available to invest in startups working to address climate change in six cities, including D.C.

On Tuesday, the Chicago-based Fortune 100 energy company and its foundation launched the Exelon Climate Change Investment Initiative. The announcement was made at a clean energy forum during Climate Week NYC, which is timed with the UN General Assembly in New York.

“Exelon stands with the majority of our customers who want cleaner air and affordable, reliable energy,” said Chris Crane, who is CEO of Exelon and chairman of the Exelon Foundation, in a statement. “With recent advances in technology, these are no longer mutually exclusive objectives. The Exelon Foundation Climate Change Investment Initiative will put us a step closer to a clean energy future by helping entrepreneurs translate their ideas for reversing climate change into practical solutions.”

Seed-stage startups can apply online for the investment opportunity, which is open to startups working on products and solutions that will six cities where Exelon and its subsidiaries provide power. That includes D.C., along with Atlantic City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware.

The goal is to back startups working on scalable products in clean energy and environmental technology. The initiative offered these areas of focus that it’s looking to support: working on lessening greenhouse gas emissions, making urban infrastructure more resilient against environmental hazards, helping cities of businesses adapt to climate change or helping governments reach sustainability goals.

Minority- and women-owned businesses will be given particular consideration, according to Exelon.

In December, Exelon is planning to announce its first class of eight to 12 startups, which will receive a total of $1 million in funding. The deadline for this year is Oct. 25.

Exelon Foundation is providing $10 million for the investment fund over the next decade. Exelon Corporation is matching that with $10 million-worth of in-kind services to support the startups, including mentorship on building a business, regulatory requirements and more. Startups who receive funding will also be able to connect with the company’s internal innovation programs including Exelorate Growth, Baltimore-based Constellation Technology Ventures and Partnership R&D, Exelon said.


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