BlueTech & CleanTech Innovation Cohort
Building upon the mindset of innovation in the area, program participants spend 10 weeks together building skills and knowledge necessary to succeed as innovators in these critical industries. The learning experience includes expert instruction, hands-on individual and group activities, and personalized mentorship. The cohort concludes with members delivering their pitch to an audience of industry experts and potential investors.
Thank you to all of the participants in our Bluetech/Cleantech Innovation Cohort.
The entrepreneurs have exciting business opportunities. Here are some of their presentations.
What is Cleantech?
Clean technology (cleantech) is a general term used to describe products, processes or services that reduce waste and pollution and require as few non-renewable resources as possible. Cleantech cohort participants can be involved in a wide range of industry such as food & agriculture, smart buildings, energy efficiencies, manufacturing and so many more.
What is Bluetech?
Bluetech involves innovative solutions to benefit the maritime and ocean economies, healthy marine and ocean ecosystem.
Applicants may be in the early idea stage – requiring assistance with ideation and determination regarding viability of your product or service. Applicants should be pre-revenue and pre-external funding (excluding grant funding).
- All cohort members will benefit from the program. Members will be able to benefit from additional individual assistance to accommodate the difference in business stages.
- Members must be able to participate fully in the cohort program.
- Applicants sought from the Counties of Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan. Applicants from other Counties will be given consideration.
- Applications will be reviewed by a group of bluetech/cleantech experts. Selection of a maximum of 10 will be named as members of the cohort.
The program is designed for BlueTech and CleanTech entrepreneurs who are ready to validate their innovative idea and build the foundation for a successful business. If you have an idea or are in the process of getting your business started but find yourself “stuck” or at a loss for the best way to move forward, this program might be a good fit for you. It’s a great opportunity to build relationships with fellow entrepreneurs as you work to develop plans and strategies to turn your idea into a business.
We welcome cofounders and colleagues who wish to participate together (2 individuals per participating business). Members of the cohort who complete the program will receive ongoing support for execution of their business strategy from NWIRC, as well as membership in Cleantech Alliance or WA Maritime Blue for one year.
Content & Activities
The cohort meets virtually for 10 weeks on Tuesdays beginning October 11th. (Depending on participant locations and local COVID-19 conditions, we may also provide opportunities to meet in our Innovation Labs.) Weekly cohort meetings include presentations, demonstrations, discussions, group and individual activities, and Q&A sessions with expert guests. Participants will also be paired with Mentors who can provide support and guidance as needed throughout the program. Content and activities include:
- Hands-on practice with design and innovation processes
- Tips and tools for conducting research and market analysis
- Strategies for validating ideas and gathering feedback
- Essential components of Intellectual Property strategy
- Business model generation
- Financial planning for operations and investment
- Sales and marketing strategies
- Communication and presentation skills for business audiences
We are seeking participants in northwest Washington who have an existing idea for an innovative BlueTech or CleanTech product or solution-based business. No prior education, training or experience is required. The cohort convenes innovative entrepreneurs at the early stage of their startup journey, and is not intended to benefit established enterprises. Applications will be reviewed individually and exceptions may be made if we believe participation will enhance the experience of cohort members. We typically accept 8-12 applicants into the program.
Cohort members are expected to attend and participate in all 10 weekly online sessions, which will be held Tuesdays from 4PM-6PM beginning October 11, 2022. To get the most from the live sessions, we recommend participating from a quiet location with limited distractions, strong internet connection and the ability to turn on a webcam when appropriate, to enhance the group experience. In addition to the live sessions, participants should anticipate 2-5 hours per week of activities outside the scheduled time. This may include reading, completing exercises, meeting with mentors, and preparing final presentations.
Applications are currently being accepted and will remain open until the cohort is filled. Please apply early for the best chance at being accepted. We review applications on a rolling basis.
It is critical to provide assistance to the emerging bluetech/cleantech entrepreneurs who are the participants of the Bluetech/Cleantech Cohort. The mentor’s advice, sharing of experience and assistance with networking opportunities are invaluable for the entrepreneur to avoid timely and costly mistakes and succeed with their ideas.
Experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders with knowledge in bluetech or cleantech related business or business skill such as marketing, finance, etc.
Time Commitment and Expectation
- Participate in weekly presentations when possible
- Available to answer calls from designated participant(s) regarding implementation of their business idea and strategy.
- Mentors will not be asked to sign any contract, non-disclosure agreement or other legal document. Nor will mentors be asked to perform any work on behalf of their mentees. Mentors are volunteers, not consultants.
- It is important that Bluetech/Cleantech cohort companies trust their mentors as a partner. Mentors are expected to not pitch or solicit employment from their mentees during the program.
Curriculum access will be provided to final cohort participants.