The challenge

To be part of a competitively-selected, diverse cohort of startup ventures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the acceleration of electrification. The program will focus on energy-related products or services that reduce the need for costly infrastructure or electrical panel upgrades. Selection will focus on companies that are currently at a pilot or demonstration stage and planning for scale.

The sixth DeltaClimeVT Energy2022 business accelerator program is designed to accelerate the drive to a zero-carbon future for Vermont by helping Vermont’s utilities increase adoption of clean energy, smart building and electric vehicle technologies that enable accelerated integration of distributed energy resources without the need for costly infrastructure upgrades. Entrepreneurs will be working directly with Vermont utilities to contribute to Vermont’s 90/50 and Burlington’s Net Zero by 2030 goals.

We were particularly interested in services and technologies that have wide potential applicability with rural populations and that enable small businesses, low and moderate-income Vermonters, disadvantaged populations and multi-family building residents to participate in the low-carbon economy.

Examples of technologies or services could include but are not limited to:

  • Products or services that enable installation and adoption of low carbon, energy efficient or demand management technologies without the need for electric panel upgrades;
  • Data gathering and energy analytics software that enables greater adoption of energy efficient technologies and services;
  • Smart building technologies such as smart electric panel devices, building controls, smart thermostats, EV charging supply equipment and other devices that could align with utility demand response signals and reduce the need for infrastructure upgrades;
  • Localized or micro energy management and storage technologies and related services that enable increased electrification while reducing the need for grid infrastructure upgrades;
  • Financing models for energy technologies and services (e.g. innovative loans, on-bill financing, heating as a service);
  • Low-carbon transportation solutions that meet rural and LMI population needs to include EVs, micro-mobility, bio-fuels and hydrogen;
  • Any other technology or service that enables the reduction of carbon intensive energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in transportation, industrial processes and buildings or supports demand management.


Important Dates

November 15, 2021
Application opens

January 31, 2022
Application deadline

February 25, 2022
Cohort selection announced

February 28, 2022
Prework Kickoff

March 28-31, 2022
Sprint 1

April, 2022
One-on-one meetings with facilitators

May 2-5, 2022
Virtual sprint

May, 2022
Webinars and one-on-one meetings with facilitators

June 13-16, 2022
Final sprint (in person)


At DeltaClimeVT, we tap an innovative group of leaders who are subject matter experts and/or have deep entrepreneurial and investment experience, based on the needs of each cohort selected.

Darren Springer Accel-VT Advisor

Darren Springer

General Manager, Burlington Electric Department


Darren Springer is the General Manager at Burlington Electric Department (BED). He previously served as Burlington Electric’s Chief Operating Officer and led the Center for Innovation team which includes the Policy & Planning, Finance, Information Technology and Energy Services divisions.

Prior to joining BED, Darren served as Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Peter Shumlin. Before working in the Governor’s Office, Darren was appointed as Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Public Service Department, leading the advancement of the 2014 net metering law and 2015 renewable energy standard.

Darren worked for 4 years in the Washington, D.C. Office of U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders as Senior Policy Advisor for Energy & Environment, and later as Chief Counsel. He has also worked for the National Governors Association as Program Director for Energy and Transportation. Darren has a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and earned a J.D. and Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. While at Vermont Law School, he was selected as Managing Editor of the Vermont Law Review, and clerked for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a member of the Vermont Bar, Virginia Bar, and Florida Bar. Darren has also served as a Policy Fellow on Climate Change and Renewable Energy at the University of Vermont Center for Research on Vermont.

Ken Nolan, General Manager at Vermont Public Power Supply Authority

Ken Nolan

General Manager, Vermont Public Power Supply Authority


Since 2016, Ken Nolan has served as Vermont Public Power Supply Authority’s (VPPSA) General Manager. He joined the Authority with more than 30 years of electric utility experience. Previously, he held positions in power supply and resource planning, including 10 years at VPPSA (1988 to 1998). He then moved to the municipal utility, Burlington Electric Department, where he progressed his career from resource planning and management to Chief Operations Officer and Manager of Strategy and Innovation. In addition to his responsibilities with VPPSA, Ken serves on the Boards of Directors for Vermont Electric Power Company, Hometown Connections Inc., and VEPP Inc. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.

Graham Turk of Green Mountain Power an advisor for Accel-VT Energy 2019

Graham Turk

Innovation Strategist, Green Mountain Power


Graham is a member of the Innovation Development team at Green Mountain Power (GMP). His work involves designing and executing innovative pilot projects, which test new technologies and business models. These efforts contribute to GMP’s larger mission to transform our energy system into one that is more distributed, carbon-free, and community-centered, while reducing costs and increasing reliability for customers. Prior to GMP, Graham completed a Fulbright grant in Sweden on peer-to-peer solar energy markets. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in computer science.

Joseph Steig



Joseph Steig is a principal at ecosVC, a consulting and training company for STEM ventures. He also consults with companies and investors in a CFO capacity. He currently works with LRVHealth, a healthcare venture fund based in Boston, and with IUNU, an agriculture technology company based in Seattle. Joseph has worked in a diverse range of industries from aquaculture to software and has extensive consulting experience with universities and innovators on technology commercialization.

Joseph serves on the Board of Directors of Greentown Learn, the educational non-profit affiliated with the world’s largest clean tech incubator, Greentown Labs. He went to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts  and divides his time between Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. More information at

Geoff Robertson

Geoff Robertson

DeltaClimeVT Managing Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund


Geoff Robertson joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2017 as Director of Business Assistance. In this role he managed a suite of business assistance services to help Vermont business owners and management teams advance profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development. Geoff currently serves as managing director of VSJF’s DeltaClimeVT business accelerator that serves startup and seed-stage ventures focusing on climate economy innovation. Most recently Geoff held the position of CEO at Empower Mobility, a mobile platform and software company, where he was responsible for managing business development, human resources, and finances. As the CFO at School Spring, LLC, Geoff negotiated the successful sale of the cloud based recruitment and applicant tracking system for K – 12 schools. He previously served as the Entrepreneurial Advisor at Davis & Hodgdon CPAs serving School Spring, the Vermont Food Venture Center, and many other small businesses in Vermont.

Richard Donnelly, Accel-VT Advisory Board Headshot

Richard Donnelly

Energy Innovation Manager, Vermont Gas Systems, Inc.


Richard Donnelly is the Energy Innovation Manager at Vermont Gas Systems, Inc. and previously worked as Senior Manager, Emerging Technologies & Services at Efficiency Vermont. Richard’s professional background includes economic development, telecom, small business management, and as a chef. Richard is a senior fellow at the Environmental Leadership Program and specializes in systems-thinking, human-centered design, business modeling, value proposition design, and strategy development.

Kerrick Johnson

Vice President of Strategic Innovation, Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO)


A high-performing senior energy executive and successful tech startup founder, Johnson Kerrick delivers results. He identifies, develops and collaboratively executes strategic initiatives, builds effective advocacy relationships and secures stakeholder alignment through imaginative messaging. Having served in key leadership roles over the past decade of energy sector transformation, Johnson is recognized as a seasoned, frequently provocative, public speaker, and thought leader who has catalyzed many creative energy sector conversations at diverse conferences, workshops, symposiums, and executive gatherings. He currently serves on GridWise Alliance, Renewable Energy Vermont and the Howard Center boards.


DeltaClimeVT offers cohort members more than 35 hours of time with mentors, investors and potential customers?


DeltaClimeVT coordinates with mentors comprised of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, business advisors and investors throughout the program. Cohort members work directly with mentors during the three sprints in addition to socializing with them at extracurricular social events as well as other business events.

Click here to see our DeltaClimeVT Energy2021 mentors.


DeltaClimeVT relies on sponsorships to execute successful cohorts. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor please contact