The 2024 challenge

To be part of a competitively selected cohort of start-up and/or seed stage ventures who offer innovative products or services aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to help Vermont meet its climate goals. Start-ups addressing the decarbonization of buildings, transportation, heating and industrial processes through electrification, biofuels, thermal energy networks or other renewables with a particular focus on load management controls integrated with storage, heat pumps, electric vehicle charging equipment and building systems are encouraged to apply. Ventures that address energy burden for under-represented and low to moderate income populations are of particular interest.

The eight DeltaClimeVT Energy2024 energy and climate business accelerator program is designed to accelerate the drive towards a zero-carbon future for Vermont, by helping Vermont’s utilities increase adoption of clean energy, smart building and electric vehicle technologies that enable the integration of distributed energy resources with the grid. Entrepreneurs will work directly with Vermont utilities throughout the program to contribute to Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan (90% renewables/efficiency by 2050) and Burlington’s Net Zero by 2030 goals.

We were particularly interested in services and technologies that have wide potential applicability in rural locations and that allow commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses, low and moderate-income Vermonters, underrepresented populations and multi-family building residents to participate in the emerging low-carbon economy.

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

  • Smart building technologies such as building controls, dynamic EV charging equipment (V2X), heat pump load management, storage and other devices that can align with utility demand response signals and support data verification;
    • Especially technologies that can overcome communication challenges with limited broadband access, cellular networks, and radio signals with a particular focus on open ADR (due to mountainous terrain);
    • Especially lower cost solutions where aggregator integration costs and software fees are affordable for smaller utilities with fewer connected/controlled devices;
  • EV and EV charging services and technologies related to V2G/V2H/V2X, commercial EV fleet services and telematics;
  • Thermal energy network technologies and services with a focus on community scale systems utilizing waste heat and/or ground source heat pumps;
  • Service models designed to eliminate engagement and participation barriers for underserved customers and encourage whole home decarbonization; and/or
  • DIY electrification opportunities that relieve the need for contractors.


About the Program

The DeltaClimeVT business accelerator program is managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and facilitated by ecosVC. The program is centered around the ecosVC Lens of the Market® ACCELERATED curriculum, designed to ensure participating startups produce a well grounded case for their business and are able to articulate a compelling plan for success to investors.

The program features an extensive online curriculum plus 1-1’s facilitated by ecosVC principals, active engagement with sponsoring Vermont utilities, business mentors, investors and successful venture leaders. Startups must have at least two senior members of their team actively participate in all aspects of the program. The program includes two online and two in-person intensive sessions (each 2-4 days in duration), weekly assignments and bi-weekly webinars as well as frequent 1:1 engagement with program leaders and mentors. Active engagement and peer-mentoring by participants is an essential part of the program and a final prize of $25,000 is provided to a peer-selected company. The DeltaClimeVT program managers work to ensure that startups in the cohort are non-competitive.

This is the best accelerator that we have participated in. Specifically, this program has a unique curriculum that’s designed to create a collaborative competition and allow us to sit across the table from electric utilities, planning directors and CFOs.


Marcelo SandovalCo-founder, CEO, Chief Scientist, ProsumerGrid, Energy 2023 Winner

Important Dates

October 20, 2023
Application opens

February 5, 2024
Application deadline

February 23, 2024
Cohort selection announced

March 4 – 5, 2024
Kick-off webinars

March 12 – 14, 2024
One-on-one meetings with facilitators

April 25 – 28, 2024
Sprint 1, Burlington, VT

April 19 – 26, 2024
Webinars and one-on-one meetings with facilitators

May 6 – 8, 2024
Virtual sprint 2

May 24 – June 7, 2024
Webinars and one-on-one meetings with facilitators

June 10 – 13, 2024
Final sprint, Burlington, VT

Latest News


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.

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.

SaLisa Berrien Headshot

SaLisa Berrien

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, COI Energy


SaLisa L. Berrien, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of COI Energy, has over 25 years of experience in the electric power and smart grid space. From working in vertically integrated utilities (PP&L and PECO Energy) prior to deregulation to ConEdison Solutions a deregulated energy services company, and then on to Smart Grid, Clean Tech, Big Data Analytics, and SaaS Solutions, Ms. Berrien has had a diverse career in the energy space. In her early career, she sold the first electric vehicle (G-Van) in the Northeast region. She later went on to help EnerNOC move to #1 Demand Response company in the industry.

Ms. Berrien is also the Founder and Board Chair of STRIVE Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1995, which focuses on STEM leadership development training for students in 3rd through 12th grades. In 2013, she established COI Ladder Institute to focus on delivering leadership and empowerment services to millennials and women. Annually, COI Ladder Institute hosts a Women’s Business Leadership Retreat Conference in Martha’s Vineyard.

Since 1996, Ms. Berrien established several scholarship funds for high school and college students. Her first scholarship, the Jackson-Stephens Excellence Award, was named in honor of her maternal and paternal grandparents for paving the way so that she might have better opportunities in life. In 2004, she established the Karl H. Lewis Engineering Impact Alumni Endowment at the University of Pittsburgh for students of African descent enrolled in engineering. She later established the Talibah M. Yazid Academic Excellence scholarship for college bound high school seniors with a GPA greater than 3.0 to honor her aunt’s legacy as an educator.

Ms. Berrien holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an Executive MBA from Saint Joseph’s University. She’s been a guest speaker at various conferences and events including SXSW, NSBE, the University of Pittsburgh, Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum, American Society for Engineering Education Annual Convention, Microsoft’s Women Speaker Series, SAP’s Catalyst Summit, JLL AABN Florida, Wm. Allen High School Commencement Speaker, Morgan Stanley’s Sustainable Futures Summit, and a host of women in technology speaking engagements.
Ms. Berrien has been recognized with service awards from the City of Bethlehem, Lehigh University, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the YWCA. She is also the recipient of the National Council of Negro Women Mary Jackson Engineering Award and the Allentown Human Relations Commission Human Relations Award.

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.

Simeon Chapin Headshot

Simeon Chapin

Community Impact Officer, VSECU


Simeon Chapin is the community impact officer at VSECU, a values-based credit union located in Vermont, and has over a decade of experience driving business, brands, and engagement toward social good. Simeon specializes in business development and manages strategy and execution, measurement, public and community relations, impact investing, and philanthropy. With a creative, integrated, and rigorous approach, Simeon brings people together to propel positive change and culture forward. He serves on the board of Vermont Heritage Financial Group and is the President of the VSECU Foundation.

Morgan Hood Headshot

Morgan Hood

New Product Development Manager, VGS


Morgan Hood has 15 years of industry experience with energy efficiency and product development. Her current role as New Product Development manager at VGS is helping the company establish a new portfolio of products and services focused on decarbonization. Morgan’s highly developed customer engagement expertise with large industrial and manufacturing facilities, commercial real estate, retailers, and residential customers help her unlock the valuable customer insights that fuel the product development process. Her method-based approach relies on the principles of design thinking, value proposition design, and the business model canvas as creative frameworks for evidence-based decision-making.

Chris Vaughn

Energy Innovation and Resiliency Coordinator, Green Mountain Power


Chris Vaughn joined Green Mountain Power (GMP) in 2022 as an Energy Innovation and Resiliency Coordinator. Chris’ work focuses on GMP’s strategic electrification initiatives, with the goal of reducing costs for customers and lowering carbon emissions in Vermont. Prior to Green Mountain Power, Chris worked for the City of Burlington, Vermont within the Burlington City Arts department. Chris completed his bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.

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.

Lisa Morris

Energy Services Planner, Vermont Electric Cooperative


Bio to come.

Jake Marin

Senior Emerging Technology & Engineering Services Manager, Efficiency Vermont


Jake Marin is a Senior Emerging Technology and Services Manager at Efficiency Vermont. He manages s a diverse portfolio of projects but specializes in adoption of new HVAC technologies. Previously, Jake was the Program Manager for HVAC and Refrigeration at Efficiency Vermont. Here, he developed Vermont’s first heat pump program in 2014 and has continued to help develop programs and guidelines for the greater Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region through his collaboration with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP). These programs have supported the installation of over 35,000 high efficiency heat pumps and over 14,000 heat pump water heaters in Vermont alone. Starting with single zone ductless mini-splits, his heat pump program portfolio has grown to include multi-zone, ducted, air to water and, most recently, Ground Source Heat Pump.


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 Energy2023 mentors.


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

Jane’s Trust Foundation

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