NECEC’s Cleantech Open Northeast Accelerator Opens 2021 Application

BOSTON - Cleantech Open Northeast (CTONE), the region’s largest cleantech startup accelerator, opened up its 2021 application round, NECEC announced today. CTONE accelerates cleantech innovation by helping startups develop their business models through expert education, guidance, and mentorship. Early stage cleantech startups based in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Eastern Canada are encouraged to apply by April 18, 2021.

“Cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs play an important role in accelerating the technologies and services needed to help the Northeast reach its climate goals,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “The 2020s must be a decade of climate action and through Cleantech Open Northeast, we are growing the ecosystem of startups driving cleantech solutions that will power our region’s transition to a just clean energy economy.”

“Cleantech Open Northeast has a strong track record of accelerating early stage ventures with unparalleled programming, education, and mentorship that helps startups launch and grow successful cleantech businesses,” said Cleantech Open Northeast Director Beth Zonis. “We are thrilled to open our 2021 application process and look forward to welcoming a diverse cohort of cleantech innovators and pioneers this year.”

CTONE’s six month accelerator will remain virtual throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the program, startups will access training through webinars and business clinics, gain insight from expert mentors, and build connections with strategic investors, angel groups, venture capital firms, and more. The accelerator program culminates in a regional pitch competition, where startups showcase their ventures before a panel of judges that select four regional winners to each receive a $10,000 cash prize and in-kind prizes. In 2021, thanks to a grant from the Sire Foundation, CTONE will also add a new $10,000 prize to a carbon sequestration startup that completes the annual accelerator. The four regional winners will continue on to compete for the national grand prize at the Cleantech Open finals.

The CTONE accelerator welcomes early stage companies from eight cleantech sectors: energy generation; energy distribution and storage; energy efficiency; green buildings and smart cities; transportation; agriculture, water, and waste; chemicals and advanced materials; and information and communications technology. CTONE places a particular emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion among its startup founders, mentors, coaches, judges, and investors, and on ventures focused on cleantech solutions for environmental justice communities.

In 2020, CTONE welcomed its largest cohort ever, with 47 startups, the majority of which were led by women, women of color, or people of color. Since launching in 2005, 68 percent of CTONE startups are still in business, employing more than 3,300 people, generating nearly $280 million in revenue, and having raised more than $650 million in funds.

Cleantech Open Northeast is supported by National Sponsor Wells Fargo, and Regional Premier Sponsors MassCEC and NYSERDA.

About Cleantech Open

Cleantech Open Northeast is part of the global Cleantech Open accelerator and is managed by NECEC as the on-the-ground affiliate. Cleantech Open is the world’s oldest and largest cleantech accelerator and is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2005, Cleantech Open has supported more than 1,800 alumni companies. Between 2005 and 2015 they awarded more than $5 million in cash and services, and companies raised more than $1.2 billion in external funding. Fueled by a network of more than 2,000 volunteers, Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter.


NECEC is the premier voice of businesses building a world-class clean energy hub in the Northeast, helping clean energy companies start, scale, and succeed with our unique business, innovation, and policy leadership. NECEC includes the Northeast Clean Energy Council, a nonprofit business member organization, and NECEC Institute, a nonprofit focused on industry research, innovation, policy development, and strategic communications. NECEC’s innovation program includes Cleantech Open Northeast, the Northeast affiliate of the national cleantech accelerator Cleantech Open, and Cleantech Navigate, which provides cleantech startups with curated connections to mentors, test sites, customers, corporate partners, and investors. NECEC brings together business leaders and key stakeholders to engage in influential policy discussions and business initiatives while building connections that propel the clean energy industry forward. Visit


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