published on November 15, 2016 - 12:01 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno State’s new energy-innovation incubator has received another shot in the arm with a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Central Valley Regional Energy Innovation Accelerator will use the money to help entrepreneurs commercialize new water- and energy-related technologies and innovations.

The program came to life earlier this year thanks to a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission. After it began in June, nearly a dozen entrepreneurs had already inquired about participating, said David Zoldoske, executive director of water initiatives at Fresno State, a few months ago.

The entrepreneurs will be able to tap into a variety of services including technology evaluation, proof-of-concept validation and advisory support as well as opportunities to connect with investors, industry leaders and potential customers.

The latest federal grant is part of $15 million in total funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program. Out of 215 applicants, 35 organizations across the U.S. were selected for the funding.

“The RIS program advances innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country by addressing two essential core components that entrepreneurs need to take their ideas to market: programmatic support and access to capital,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “As America’s Innovation Agency, the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the visionaries and job creators of tomorrow. Congratulations to today’s awardees who will make U.S. communities, businesses, and the workforce more globally competitive.”

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