Greenstart, an incubator or “accelerator” for new cleantech companies has launched this week in San Francisco.
The new office was opened by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who stated that he hopes the new enterprise will help to drive economic and jobs growth. He pointed out that even one successful company coming out of an incubator such as this could provide hundreds (if not thousands) of jobs.
Greenstart will provide seed funding, mentors, networking and investor connections throughout a three month program. It’s a similar model to that used by Y Combinator, which focuses on tech startups.
Greenstart will give each startup company $25,000 to $100,000 in seed capital, and connect them with mentors to ensure their business models and products have the best possible chance of success. The companies will also have access to expert legal help and other business startup essentials.
After three months in the Greenstart program, startups will have a chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists, Some of these VCs will also me mentors in the program as well.
Greenstart will hold a stake in each company, in the form of common stock. This will range from 2 to 15 percent of the company.
The new cleantech accelerator hopes to help launch hundreds of companies but is beginning with just four hopefuls. This first crop of startup cleantech companies is focused on biomass diesel, a smart plug, energy monitoring software, and a smart window shade. The companies kicking off the program include: Lono, Sylvatex, Tenrehte Technologies and Wa.tt. They were chosen from 130 applicants to the program.
According to the San Francisco mayor’s office, the city is already home to around 225 cleantech and green economy companies, most commonly to do with clean energy development and energy efficiency. The city gives qualified companies up to a 10 year exclusion on payroll tax.
According to the Greenstart site, applications are now closed, but will reopen October 2nd.