New Mentor Program to Help Clean Energy Small Businesses

Submitted by April Saylor on February 16, 2011 – 2:00pm

At the White House’s recent announcement of Startup America, a new initiative to promote high-growth entrepreneurship, the Department of Energy and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also announced the launch of an “Entrepreneurial Mentor Corps,” a one-year pilot program to connect clean energy startups with mentors.

The new mentoring initiative will pair clean energy small businesses with mentors who can help support these companies through early-stage challenges and increase their chance for success. The initiative targets clean energy small businesses who have previously received financial assistance from the Department through the Recovery Act.

Here are a few of the small businesses that are participating in the pilot program. Check back to theEnergy Blog for profiles of each of these innovative new companies in the coming weeks.

Algaeventure Systems (AVS) is taking key cost barriers out of growing and processing algae — the dewatering and harvesting stages. The company’s harvester pulls water from the algae using capillary action. Compared to standard centrifuge based approaches, this innovation radically reduces the energy required to dewater algae or to separate valuable solids from dilute solutions generally. This could unlock the potential of algae for a range of valuable products, such as pharmaceuticals and fuels, as well as open up other applications, from oil spill recovery to food processing.


April Saylor is an Online Content Producer and contractor to the Office of Public Affairs.

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