With the proliferation of accelerator and incubator programs in Montreal and the rest of Canada, there are more specialized programs than ever. The Ecofuel Accelerator is one of them.
Targeted at clean tech startups, and offering the mentorship and expertise to help them in their green endeavors, the Ecofuel Accelerator, powered by Cycle Capital, is accepting applications for their next cohort until December 5th.
“It’s pretty specific what we do,” Olivier Gagnon-Gordillo, Director of Operations at Ecofuel told MTLinTECH. “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 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 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.
For the full rules and regulations on who should apply, click here. Interested companies should apply here by December 5th, after which the top twelve candidates will be pre-selected to come in and pitch in person. Out of the twelve companies that pitch, up to five will be accepted to the program’s next cohort, to begin in February.