The Ecofuel Accelerator announced it has received $5.5. million in provincial government support.
This partnership comes from the Green Fund and is managed by Transition énergétique Québec, which will also work closely with the Ecofuel Accelerator
The Montreal-based Ecofuel accelerator is targeted at clean tech startups and powered by Cycle Capital, and offers the mentorship and expertise to help them in their green endeavors.
“It’s pretty specific what we do,” Olivier Gagnon-Gordillo, Director of Operations at Ecofuel told MTLinTECH in November. “Some other [accelerators] will do smart city, like InnoCité, and others are for AI or for something more general altogether. The main difference that we have is we’re specialized and personalized for businesses in clean tech. We connect participants with mentors who have experience specific to that field, people with experience on how to sell clean, green technology to the industry.”
That type of specialized expertise is vital to the companies in Ecofuel’s cohort, as entrepreneurs working in that sector tend to be on average older and with more experience than applicants to more generalized programs.
“We also try to establish if there are specific needs a company might have for specific expertise, and then we get them in touch with the right mentor for them. So some mentors might only meet one businesses in the cohort because the needs are so different between everybody. We do a diagnostic at the beginning, middle, and end of the cohort, and usually all of that culminates with them pitching to investors that are used to receiving pitches for clean tech businesses.”
The Ecofuel program, which will start up in February, usually lasts around three to four months and involves a combination of individual mentor sessions and collective sessions.
“The businesses that we have are a little different because the process before they get to an accelerator tends to be longer. This is because we get businesses that grow out of labs and technologies that involve intellectual property. It’s a bit longer than developing, say, a really cool new app. That wouldn’t take as much time as developing new ways to extend the life of lithium batteries, for example. The development of those technologies take quite some time, and usually the entrepreneurs we work with have more experience than participants in some other accelerators and incubators. On average, we usually get older entrepreneurs, in the mid thirties and up.”
“The Ecofuel Accelerator is now a key innovation player in the cleantech sector in Quebec and eastern Canada. Based on the progress of our alumnis, there’s a real need for a acceleration training program and the Ecofuel Accelerator already has a positive impact on the cleantech ecosystem,” said Richard Cloutier, President and CEO of the Ecofuel Accelerator and Managing Partner of the Ecofuel Fund.
Ecofuel also recently announced that Biotechnologies Ulysse — which develops bacterial solutions for the treatment of plants — and Helios UAV, which develops data acquisition solutions for drones in the mining industry, were selected in the Ecofuel Accelerator Autumn 2017 cohort. The program has supported cleantup startups from Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes since 2014.