A brand new program that’s a sort of combo startup accelerator and R&D lab has just opened to help fill this gap and support budding energy entrepreneurs that need funding, collaboration and commercialization help.
Meet Cyclotron Road, an entrepreneurial R&D program that’s being launched with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and that will offer five superstar energy researchers funding, lab space, and business help.
At ARPA-E, Gur managed 20 research projects in energy storage, solar, and next-gen materials, and also co-founded ARPA-E’s Technology-to-Market program, which helps the research projects get to market.
Cyclotron Road is now accepting applications for the five slots for “Project Leaders” in the program and these leaders will get full time employee benefits at Berkeley Lab, $500,000 in seed funding over two years, a network to advise on tech development and commercialization, as well as any other help needed for things like grant writing, corporate partnerships and business model strategy.
The Cyclotron Road program is meant to act as a launching pad and sort of incubator for breakout energy projects.
Think of Cyclotron Road as a riff on the Valley incubator program, but with the deep science and lab connection, the multiyear length, and the advisors who have been through the energy commercialization game before.
If Y Combinator morphed into something actually useful for an energy-focused entrepreneur it’d be Cyclotron Road. When the program was launched in July 2014, it was called M37, which stands for “Month 37.” At ARPA-E, Gur and his team would ask themselves: “If we support this team for the next 36 months, where will the project be in month 37?” The program changed its name to Cyclotron Road in November 2014, which is the name of the road upon which the lab is based.