Source: New York State Governor Press Office

Awardees Include Four Accelerate Southern Tier Projects and Six Companies Advancing Energy-Saving Innovations

“Accelerate Southern Tier Awards” and Co-Investment Fund to Invest in Entrepreneurial Projects That Advance Clean Energy Technologies

Building a Supportive Innovation Ecosystem Program Supports Governor Cuomo’s Nation-Leading Goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $6 million in awards for four Accelerate Southern Tier projects and six innovative technologies that support New York’s clean energy goals. Strategically investing in entrepreneurial projects that advance low carbon and clean energy solutions enables New York to foster healthier communities and to broaden adoption of innovative initiatives to build out the State’s green energy economy and combat climate change. This announcement supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“New York has built a green energy economy that supports businesses from start-up to commercialization to establish a cleaner, more sustainable future for communities across our state, consistent with the goals of our ambitious, nation-leading climate agenda” Governor Cuomo said. “We must invest in these valuable entrepreneurial programs that attract new technologies and companies in our effort to drive down carbon emissions, fight climate change, and deliver environmental benefits to all New Yorkers.”

The $3 million in Accelerate Southern Tier Awards aim to advance innovation as part of the region’s growing and robust ecosystem that supports the formation and growth of early-stage clean energy companies. Awardees include:

  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY – Cornell University’s Rev Napkin-to-Prototype Accelerator was awarded to help entrepreneurs bring climate technology ideas to market under an eleven-week, cohort-based, hardware accelerator.
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY – Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion in the Regional Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem program was awarded to help participants in underrepresented communities start climate technology companies and build their businesses. This project is supported by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement in partnership with Chloe Capital.
  • Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY – Binghamton University’s EmpowerST: Empowering Energy Storage Entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier, received this award for its fellowship program to provide entrepreneurial-minded scientists with help developing prototypes for groundbreaking energy storage technologies and to help existing companies transform current systems.
  • Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, Jamestown, NY – The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ Manufacturing the Clean Energy Future in the Southern Tier program was awarded to help new and existing climate technology companies expand, relocate and grow in the region with business support and manufacturing resources.

Additionally, $3 million in non-dilutive matching investments will be awarded to six companies as part of NYSERDA’s Co-Investment Fund. Each company has obtained at least twice as much in qualifying private capital investments and are advancing innovation to support decarbonization scale-up through hardware, software, technology-enabled services, data analytics, and processes that broadly reduce energy consumption, or increase resource efficiency. Awardees include:

  • Cleanfiber, LLC, Buffalo, NY – makes high performance building insulation, made from recycled corrugated cardboard to improve insulating homes which can lower energy costs.
  • ConnectDER, Falls Church, VA – advances next generation technology through an adapter that connects a customer’s meter into a utility’s all-in-one plug-in point for solar, storage, EVs, and additional technologies, helping consumers avoid costly upgrades. The company has partneredwith Con Edison to make its technology available to new residential solar customers across New York City and Westchester County.
  • Ekostinger, Rochester, NY – develops aerodynamic devices for tractor trailers that reduce emissions by saving fuel consumption, therefore reducing carbon emissions.
  • Enertiv, Brooklyn, NY – provides a platform that unlocks and leverages building data, from static documents, to legacy software, connects to IoT(Internet of Things) devices and systems to reduce operating expenses, maintenance and repairs, utilities and capital expenditure reserves for building owners and operators.
  • Graphenix Development, Inc, Rochester, NY – manufactures industry-leading ultracapacitor electrodes and silicon anodes, which will increase Li-ion energy densities to enable repeated fast charging for energy storage applications.
  • Skyven Technologies, Richardson, TX and Binghamton, NY – creating custom clean energy systems that reduce or eliminate fuel consumed in industrial manufacturing processes, increasing energy efficiency and switching plants to zero carbon energy sources.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “The companies supported through our programs are creating the services needed for start-ups to pioneer technologies and produce innovation needed to drive down emissions and boost clean energy. Bringing products to scale helps grow our green economy, save energy, and provides consumers the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint in our fight against climate change.”

New York’s Southern Tier has become a model for fostering economic and job growth by providing regional business support services for innovative and breakthrough climate technology companies though competitive awards and Empire State Development’s Southern Tier Soaring initiative. One such program is the 76West Competition which was introduced in 2016 as a four-year competition for clean energy startups in the Southern Tier and has attracted business from around the globe to the region in support of Empire State Development’s Southern Tier Soaring initiative. The 2020 awards mark five years of competition that has attracted almost 800 applicants from 27 countries and supported 99 participants with funding and business support. These initiatives have led to innovation companies successfully integrating themselves into the area, raising $51 million in private capital, making multimillion-dollar investments in property and equipment in the region while spending more than $1.7 million on key suppliers.

The Accelerate Southern Tier Awards and NYSERDA’s Co-Investment Fund are part of NYSERDA’s Innovation Technology to Market program. New York prioritizes investments in research, development, and commercialization to support startups accelerating the clean technology innovations needed to meet the state’s goal for economy-wide carbon neutrality. Support through NYSERDA’s Technology to Market program helps early-stage companies with technical assistance and business development resources through six incubators statewide, entrepreneurial support, and manufacturing scale-up.

Through this program, the State has invested more than $28 million since 2009 through NYSERDA, supporting nearly 349 companies and generating more than 1,140 jobs. More than $780 million in private investments and $200 million in project finance capital have been created while helping bring more than 440 new and improved clean energy products to market, including LED lighting systems, home appliances, longer-lasting batteries, and more efficient heating-and-cooling systems.

Funding for this initiative is through the State’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA’s website.

New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan 

Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.