The challenge

To be part of a competitively-selected cohort of startup and/or seed stage ventures who offer products or services, including smart home and building technologies, aimed at reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, enable better integration of distributed resources and smart building technologies, increase resiliency and/or support demand management strategies that avoid peak time energy usage.

The goal for the DeltaClimeVT Energy2020 program is to help move us toward a zero-carbon future through better integration of distributed resources and smart building technologies and to help Vermont’s utilities harden the distribution network against outages.

We are particularly interested in technologies that have wide potential applicability and enable low and moderate-income 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:

  • Innovative heating systems, such as advanced wood heat, geothermal heat pumps, advanced air to water heat pump systems or heat pump technology with integrated storage or demand response controls;
  • Building controls that align with utility demand response signals;
  • New weatherization materials or building construction materials that have lower embodied carbon footprints and help reduce energy use;
  • Smart thermostats, EV charging supply equipment and other devices to include storage that could align with utility demand response signals;
  • Fuel cell technologies;
  • Innovative solutions to bring reliable connectivity (ex. broadband) to rural areas to enable behind the meter technologies;
  • Innovative financing models for technologies and services (e.g. innovative loans, on-bill financing, heating as a service)
  • Any other technology or service that reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings and/or supports demand management in buildings.

Important Dates

November 21, 2019
Application opens

February 19, 2020
Application deadline

March 9, 2020
Cohort selected

March 30-April 2, 2020
Online Learning Sessions

April 17-June 8, 2020
Weekly Friday Webinars

June 8-11, 2020
First Sprint

July 13-16, 2020
Second Sprint

Latest News

Vermont-based climate economy business accelerator Accel-VT rebrands as DeltaClimeVT and seeks entrepreneurs for Energy 2020 program: Read more.

Who should apply?

DeltaClimeVT is looking for companies working on products or services that will help Vermont’s utilities harden the state’s distribution network against outages while simultaneously moving Vermont toward a zero-carbon future through better integration of distributed resources and smart building technologies. economy. Apply Now.

$25,000 Prize

DeltaClimeVT cohort members will take part in a three-month intensive training. The accelerator consists of three separate, four-day, on-site “sprints”, in the Burlington area, with homework and webinars in between. Participants will be exposed to the ecosVC curriculum, which is designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale.

The ecosVC curriculum enables each entrepreneur to gain an intimate understanding of the other businesses in the cohort, allowing them to provide quality feedback and to select the top company to receive a $25,000 non-equity prize.

Win Pilot Projects

Energy entrepreneurs will compete for the opportunity to demonstrate their company’s technology through collaborative pilot projects with DeltaClimeVT sponsors Burlington Electric Department and Green Mountain Power.


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.

Marilyn Waite

Program Officer in Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


Marilyn Waite is currently the Program Officer, Climate and Clean Energy Finance at the Hewlett Foundation in Silicon Valley. She formerly lead the energy practice at Village Capital, where she found, trained and invested in ventures solving pressing challenges in the energy sector. Marilyn has worked across four continents in investment (Lincoln International), public policy (National Academy of Sciences), and nuclear and renewable energy (AREVA). Author of Sustainability at Work, Marilyn also serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and is a former Senior Research Fellow at Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown. Marilyn holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

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

Paul Silva Accel-VT Advisor

Paul Silva

General Partner, Launch413, and President & Founder, Innovation Accelerator


Paul Silva leads Launch413, an alternative venture fund getting startups to their first $10 million in revenue; River Valley Investors, which connects seed and early-stage startups to Western Massachusetts’ angel investors; and Innovation Accelerator, which trains nonprofit leaders to develop sources of unrestricted, recurring, and sustainable revenue.

Previously, he co-founded Valley Venture Mentors (one of the top 100 accelerators in the world). Paul served as a board member of Angel Capital Association. He also co-founded All in Play, an internet company that helped the blind socialize with their fully sighted friends and families as equals.

Richard Donnelly, Accel-VT Advisory Board Headshot

Richard Donnelly

Senior Manager, Emerging Technologies & Services at Efficiency Vermont


Richard Donnelly is a 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.

Janice St. Onge

Flexible Capital Fund


Janice St. Onge is Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund President and President of the Flexible Capital Fund (the Flex Fund). Janice brings economic and business development as well as financial expertise to the organization, having served in the technology and financial services industries, as well as higher education and state government sectors during the last 25-years. Early in her career, Janice served ten years at Peoples United Bank in Connecticut in retail management, commercial real estate lending (managing a $21 million portfolio) and organizational development roles.

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.

Geoff Robertson

Geoff Robertson

Business Assistance Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund


Geoff Robertson joined the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund in 2017 as Director of Business Assistance. In this role he manages a suite of business assistance services to help Vermont business owners and management teams advance profitability, job creation, and sustainable business development. 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.


DeltaClime VT 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.


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