After being in operation since 2013, the PowerBridgeNY program will come to an end in September 2020 with its final cohort of Cycle 6 awardees issued in May 2019.

PowerBridgeNY was designed for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to accelerate the commercialization of their cleantech. The accelerator helped technologists to determine product-market fit, de-risk their technologies by building early prototypes, and to validate their technology through customer and industry interactions. Teams received up to $150K to conduct 100 Customer Discovery interviews and develop a prototype or conduct in-field testing to move the technology closer to commercialization via a startup (preferable) or license. During the accelerator, teams participated in a series of workshop events and monthly check-ins using the NSF I-Corps/Lean LaunchPad Methodology to identify their initial business model and technical requirements for their minimum viable product. PowerBridgeNY also subsidized the cost of necessary services, provided industry Mentors, and arranged pro bono office hours with experts in law, finance, grant writing, and more. Learn more about the benefit the program has had for awardees below and through the PowerBridgeNY 5 Year Impact Report originally published in 2018 after the awarding of the Cycle 5 teams.

Cumulative Success Metrics

  • 6 cycles administered
  • 165 applications received
  • 38 teams funded
  • $4.6M in funding awarded by PowerBridgeNY to teams
  • $40M awarded to teams in grants and investments from other sources after participating in PBNY
  • Roughly 1/2 of the teams are still actively pursuing commercialization

Application Process/Criteria

Determine Eligibility

Applicants must work at a lab at one of the 6 consortium universities (Columbia University, New York University, City University of New York, Cornell Tech, Stonybrook University, or Brookhaven National Laboratory) and have a technology that they think could have a positive impact on the environment. Applicants have a desire to test, “is this worth something?” For this phase, please review the FAQs, and Full Proposal Application Checklist

Apply to PowerBridgeNY

The Principal Investigator and their entrepreneurial lead apply to the program by submitting a pre-proposal application including a 2-minute video and a brief write-up on the technology and potential markets.

Attend Bootcamp

Teams invited to submit a full proposal must participate in a customer discovery bootcamp with other applicants. Rejected Pre-Proposal applicants may still be able to participate in the bootcamp if there are enough spots, those would be available on a first-come, first served basis.

Submit Full Proposal

After the bootcamp, teams need to expand on their pre-proposal and submit a full proposal for the project.

Pitch Your Idea

After submitting the full proposal, select applicants are invited to pitch their idea to us and members of a judging panel.


If teams pass all of the above steps, they are accepted into PowerBridgeNY! Accepted teams are given the first tranche of the $150K and earn the other tranches over the next 12-18 months by completing key technical and business milestones. Teams are encouraged to submit any funded research outcomes for publication in academic journals, as usual.