Innovation Bridge

Matching clean energy startups with large corporations seeking innovative technologies.

Launched through Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ChicagoNEXT innovation initiative, the Cleantech Innovation Bridge (CIB) matches clean energy researchers and early-stage ventures with corporations seeking innovative energy technologies and solutions. The program is accelerating the pace of clean energy innovation in the Midwest region and beyond through real business opportunities between corporations and startups.

The Cleantech Innovation Bridge is executed by a partnership between Clean Energy Trust and Freshwater Advisors, with support from consulting partners Accenture, Deloitte, and EY. Every six months, 3–5 participating corporations undergo a discovery process to identify emerging energy technology areas of interest. The CIB team then sources researchers and entrepreneurs with the most promising solutions. After conducting due diligence, a curated portfolio of potential solution providers is delivered to the corporations. The corporate clients identify which companies are of greatest interest, and the process culminates with a technology showcase event in which the selected companies pitch the corporations and discuss opportunities for further engagement.

Visit the Cleantech Innovation Bridge site.