Vermont's Climate Economy Business Accelerator

Apply to be selected into a cohort of climate economy startup or seed stage ventures to solve distributed energy resource integration challenges.





The Accel-VT Challenge


Be part of a competitively selected cohort of upto 12 startup or seed stage ventures to help solve the challenges related to the monitoring and control of distributed energy (e.g., storage, electric vehicles, solar, community scale wind, combined heat and power) to improve their value while providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to all customers. Some examples include, but are not limited to, ventures that are:

  • Creating systems to allow distributed energy resources (DERs) to operate safely in all conditions;
  • Enabling load control and balancing of DERs to enhance grid reliability;
  • Increasing market value of DERs;
  • Optimizing DERs to match critical demand periods; and/or
  • Building scalable control systems capable of managing both micro-grids and large utility-scale grids.

Apply Now

Apply to Accel-VT by completing the application and emailing to accel-vt[at]

Partners and Sponsors

Accel-VT partners and sponsors are nationally recognized, innovative leaders in the renewable energy, efficiency, and distributed energy industry and will be actively engaged with cohort members over the course of the accelerator. Learn more.

Why Vermont?


Interested in learning more about Vermont's business landscape?  Visit


Accel-VT Vermont Climate Economy Business Acceleration

Accel-VT cohort members will take part in a three-month intensive training, hosted by Burlington Electric Department, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, and Green Mountain Power. The accelerator consists of three separate, four-day, on-site “sprints”, in the Burlington area, with homework and webinars in between. Participants will be exposed to the world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, which is designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale.  


Joseph Steig , a seasoned venture capitalist and a highly trained and experienced facilitator, will deliver the VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum. Other specific topic areas will be led by mentors including: experienced investors, successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, and potential corporate clients. Cohort members will have regular access to these industry experts and investment professionals through mentoring and networking in an effort to foster corporate partnerships and equity investments.


The VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum’s unique “peer-review” process enables each entrepreneur to gain an intimate understanding of each business in the cohort, allowing them to provide feedback and ultimately select the top two companies in the cohort who will each receive a $25,000 non-equity prize. All cohort members will also have the opportunity to pitch their business in front of high quality investors.


Cohort members will then have the opportunity to participate in nine additional months of Accel-VT webinars, seminars, and meetups—all focused on gaining the necessary skills and networks to rapidly grow their business. This level of additional support will introduce entrepreneurs to further business management training and allow for regular interaction with investors, potential customers, thought leaders, other passionate entrepreneurs and technical experts in various areas of business management in the climate economy.


Accel-VT Timeline

October 20, 2017 – Extended Application Deadline

November 10, 2017 – Cohort Selected

December 5-8, 2017 – First Sprint

January 16-19, 2018 – Second Sprint

February 13-16, 2018 – Third Sprint

March – October 2018 – Follow on Support, Webinars, etc.

Complete the Accel-VT Applicationand email to accel-vt[at]

As a result of our generous sponsors and partners, selected Accel-VT cohort members can participate at no cost. Accommodations and meals will be provided and travel expenses will be covered within reason.

The Village Capital Model is unique in that it asks its participants to make peer-selected investments in other companies in the cohort. As a result, we spend a lot of time getting to know each other’s business and giving near constant feedback on every aspect of their business model, assumptions and investment readiness. These are smart people who run their own business in our industry and so, however painful it was to hear, we benefitted from their feedback, particularly since we may not get specific and actionable feedback from potential investors. While we never thought we ‘had time’ for an accelerator, it turns out to have been one of the best things we’ve done for Idle Smart.
— Jeff Lynch, Founder and President, Idle Smart