501vc® Seed Fund

Clean Energy Trust invests in early-stage cleantech companies in the Midwest through the 501vc® Seed Fund

Clean Energy Trust makes 501vc® Seed Fund investments on a rolling basis through our evergreen revolving investment vehicle, supported by philanthropic contributions.

Clean Energy Trust makes direct investments in early-stage cleantech companies in order to help founders de-risk new technology, find early target markets, and support company development. We invest in companies across the Midwest and Mid-Continent United States. To date, we have invested in 27 companies in sectors like energy storage, clean water, efficient and smart building technologies, and advanced transportation.

After we invest, we take a hands-on approach to helping companies reach the next level. We join the company’s board as an observer and work actively to help connect the team to pilots, demonstrations, grant opportunities, customers, and investors.

Investment Criteria


Pre-seed through Series A


Clean Energy Trust invests in cleantech businesses that have a positive impact on the world. This includes businesses in advanced materials, renewable energy, energy storage, building efficiency, water, agriculture technologies, and advanced mobility. To learn more about CET’s current portfolio, click here.


Clean Energy Trust typically makes investments of between $100,000 and $300,000.

Investment Geography:

Clean Energy Trust invests across the Mid-Continent United States, from Pittsburgh and the Allegheny mountains in the east to the front range and the Rockies to the West.

Interested in learning more about CET’s 501vc® Seed Fund or applying? Share your company’s information with us and we’ll get back to you within 3 weeks.