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Austin Technology Incubator receives AgTech grant from Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

IN2 Channel PartnerThe Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), today announced that IC²’s Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) has received a prestigious IN² Channel Partner Award. As an official Channel Partner of the IN² program, ATI was recognized for its efforts to advance sustainable technology solutions that can improve energy efficiency and is one of just 13 organizations nationally to receive the award this year.

Launched in 2014, IN² is a $30 million program that facilitates the commercialization and adoption of clean energy technologies in commercial buildings and in the agriculture sector. To help foster enhanced collaboration, IN² created a network of Channel Partners – a nationwide system of incubators, accelerators and university programs that refer startup companies to the program. Entering its third year, the Channel Partner Awards Program will disburse $1 million in competitive grants across 13 recipient organizations in order to help advance sustainable technology solutions that can catalyze new collaborations, capital flow and job creation.

ATI will spearhead a sustainable food system cluster in Central Texas that provides an incubation network and proving ground for technologies driving greater efficiency, access and affordability in production, distribution and logistics, point-of-sale, and waste elimination. The organization will leverage an existing Austin initiative built around the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP), which is transforming how public institutions purchase food. Funds will be used to identify challenges faced by GFPP stakeholders, match those challenges with technological resources that address them, and understand the energy and water implications of implementing the potential solutions.

“We are excited to have IN²’s support as we team with local public institutions, food organizations and entrepreneurs to highlight challenges in Central Texas’ food system and work to address them with innovative tech solutions,” said Mitch Jacobson, Director of the Austin Technology Incubator.

“The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator is proud to provide additional support to the Austin Technology Incubator for their efforts to accelerate the development and commercialization of clean technology and support early-stage entrepreneurs,” said Ramsay Huntley, Clean Technology and Innovation Philanthropy program officer with Wells Fargo. “These are the folks who are really disrupting the industry and driving innovation.”

“Ultimately, the goal with our Channel Partner Awards Program is to create a strong, collaborative ecosystem of support across the country,” said Trish Cozart, IN² Program Manager at NREL. “We are funding these partners to continue their support of early-stage entrepreneurs and support of each other as they create partnerships and share knowledge.”

Since 2017, the IN² Channel Partner Awards Program has distributed approximately $2.1 million in competitive and non-competitive grants in support of more than 74 events, strategic meetings and trainings as well as 21 larger strategic initiatives between 23 organizations. In the pilot year of the awards program, funded projects engaged over 1,800 participants (entrepreneurs, industry, academia and others), created nearly 200 jobs, led to over $18.3 million in follow-on funding for startups involved and leveraged $812,000 in matching funds from outside organizations.

For more information on the awards program, please visit www.in2ecosystem.com.

About ATI

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) is the deep technology incubator of the University of Texas at Austin working with university and community entrepreneurs to commercialize their breakthrough innovations. For over 30 years, ATI has used a customized approach to support entrepreneurs addressing the world’s most pressing problems by connecting startups with the expertise, relationships, and funding sources they need to succeed in the marketplace. ATI is home to a number of specialized incubators which include Circular Economy, Energy, Food & AgTech, Healthcare, Mobility, and Water. For more information on the Austin Technology Incubator, visit ati.utexas.edu.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, IN²’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts at NREL and the Danforth Plant Science Center’s facilities and the opportunity to beta test at a Wells Fargo facility or with a strategic program partner. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN² began expanding its focus in 2018 to support innovation in sectors such as transportation, food systems, energy storage and others with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected communities of the future. For more information, visit www.in2ecosystem.com.

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