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Biology is the most ancient and powerful technology that we know of, yet the way that biology has been applied to industrial processes has changed little in the past 100 years. Fatemeh Shirazi, founder of Microvi, observed that microorganisms in the natural world behave and function very differently than those in the concrete basins and steel tanks that run our industrial bioprocesses. In her journey to find out why, Fatemeh created a series of synthetic environments to recreate features of the microenvironments of organisms in nature — the foundation for Microvi.

Melissa Uhl, Elemental Excelerator Chief of Staff, sat down…


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What is your North Star?

At Elemental Excelerator, we are working to create a world where the environment and communities thrive together. In order to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect our planet, we will need to creatively redesign and reinvent our underlying energy, agriculture, water, mobility, and economic systems. Not gradually and one at a time — urgently and all at once.

While a North Star defines the way toward your destination, you need an array of instruments and maps to ever arrive there. Working at the intersection of technology and community, our compass is our place-based approach…


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When Solstice co-founder and CEO Steph Speirs was working on Middle East policy in Yemen for the Obama White House National Security Council, she would look out the windows of armored SUVs and see thousands of Yemenis waiting in line for fuel. She saw that affordable clean energy access should be a human right, yet the global economy’s addiction to oil left ordinary citizens without the power they needed. Steph left the administration to work on deploying renewable energy and bringing clean, distributed, and democratized energy to the people who needed it the most. After stints in India and Pakistan…


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Startups, you’ve got a month left to apply to Elemental Excelerator’s 8th cohort! Our Qualifying Application takes only 5 minutes and the deadline to apply is April 12th.

During the month of March (and year-round for that matter), we recruit the most talented female entrepreneurs across the agriculture, energy, mobility, water, and circular economy sectors to apply for up to $1 million in funding, uniquely designed for steel-in-the-ground (and data-in-the-cloud) demonstration projects. You can read more about how we work with companies on our program page.

The gap between men and women fundraising for startups is no secret. Our friends…


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Christine Su and George Lee left corporate jobs to pursue a shared vision of helping farmers build a better food system. They launched PastureMap in 2016 to help ranchers make profits building carbon-friendly meat supply chains.

Christine, CEO of PastureMap, sat down with Melissa Uhl, Elemental Excelerator Chief of Staff, to tell us her story.

Melissa: You have a great story about finding your first customer.

Christine: One of our first customers, Brian Alexander, actually found us on Facebook. He called us from the middle of Kansas to make sure that we were a real company, and then drove…


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Friends, applications are open for our next cohort of ambitious startups that are addressing the world’s most urgent environmental and infrastructure issues. Does your company — or a company you know — belong in our 8th cohort? Now is the time to get in touch by taking five minutes to fill out our qualifying application. It’s the first step toward receiving up to $1 million in funding and joining the other 82 companies in our portfolio.


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What is Deal Day?

Every year we see hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs and world-changing technologies, and while we can only fund 15–20 ourselves, we are thinking creatively about new ways to help you grow your company. We want to accelerate your path to revenue with our Global Partners — and we’ll be incentivizing action with a $20k award to the first startup that reaches a commercial agreement at (or following) Deal Day. Think of it as speed-dating in search of ink on paper.

To be eligible — fill out this 5-minute short form to apply to our program, and we’ll…


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The world is full of moonshot ideas. But even the best ideas only lead to meaningful change if they can be deployed in the real world. Despite a growing class of investors that provide early-stage capital to help startups scale, there remains a critical gap in funding and resources for companies that have great ideas and technologies but need early adopters to prove their product/market fit.

At Elemental Excelerator, we have a lot of experience working with startups in energy, water, mobility and agriculture. We specialize in connecting our companies with industry incumbents such as utilities and major corporate partners…


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Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

California recently became the second state to pass a 100% clean energy standard, three years after Hawaii passed a similar law. As the fifth largest economy in the world, California has a tall order to fill in terms of making the transition to clean energy.

How can California, and other states that wish to follow suit, fulfill this ambitious task? They will need to provide affordable, relevant, and accessible energy options to every one of its residents, prioritizing those who have historically been overlooked and left out of the clean energy conversation due to economic circumstance or social inequity.

To…


Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory selected five “Power Connectors” to help grow its American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. The Power Connectors support the prize by recruiting competitors and partners, among other activities. The Department of Energy (DOE), which provided seed funding for Elemental Excelerator in 2009, selected us as one of the five Power Connectors. If you’re interested in applying have a look at the prize information and competition rules, and email hello@elementalexcelerator.com.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been feeling quite reflective. After…

Elemental Excelerator

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