BlueTech/CleanTech Cohort

environmental logos in gears


The NW Innovation Resource Center in partnership with CleanTech Alliance and WA Maritime Blue is convening a cohort of bluetech/cleantech innovators and early stage startups in northwest Washington. Building upon the mindset of innovation in the area, the cohort members will have access to assistance from experts to explore the viability of their ideas and build their startup 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 Cohort might be a good fit for you. Guidance will include support from ideation to execution and investment – all tailored for the cohort member’s particular stage in growth.

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.


Additional resources: research capabilities, building resilience into your business idea, project management, and more will be available for participants to supplement the program materials.

Schedule and Costs

Cohort will run for 10 weeks beginning in September, 2021

        • Week 1: Gearing Up for Success – How to start researching your idea.
        • Week 2: Innovation for Entrepreneurs – How to start validating your idea.
        • Week 3: Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs – Using design thinking to validate your idea.
        • Week 4: Build Your Business Model Canvas – Discuss initial validation.
        • Week 5: IP Basics – IP strategy from a cleantech entrepreneur perspective.
        • Week 6: Market strategy – Marketing your company in addition to your product/service.
        • Week 7: Financials – Financials for investment and operations value.
        • Week 8: Investment Presentation Materials – Essentials for your ppt accompanying documents.
        • Week 9: Investment Presentation Skills – Presentation dos and don’ts. How not to blow your opportunity in the Q&A.
        • Week 10: Presentation to Panel of Experts – Receive feedback for each participant’s company and business from industry and investor experts.

There is no cost to apply.

Participant completing the cohort receive:

  • Ongoing support for execution of their business strategy from NWIRC
  • Leading ideas receive invitations to apply for the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator program (a joint program from the CleanTech Alliance & VertueLab) or WA Maritime Blue Accelerator
  • Membership in Cleantech Alliance or WA Maritime Blue for one year.
Click to complete the online application. It will be automatically sent to NWIRC for review and you will receive notification of your acceptance into the program.

Cleantech Cohort Application


Mentor role

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.



Partnership & Sponsors


cleantech alliance
washington maritime blue


saturna sustainable funds

Saturna Capital

Saturna Sustainable Fund is commited to identifying and managing environmental, social, and governance-related risks investments.

northwest recycling

NW Recycling

Since 1923, the Parberry family has been sustainably recovering resources in an ethical and socially responsible manner for the benefit of future generations and our community.

cleantech alliance
cleantech alliance

Port of Bellingham & Regional Economic Partnership

Regional Economic Partnership works to build a sustainable regional economy.


Curriculum access will be provided to final cohort participants.


Diane Kamionka
(360) 255-7870