15 tips for Energy Efficiency accelerator

Energy Efficiency ventures, and more generally cleantech/greentech ventures, are not bets you will always win. Far from reaching this level of performances, an Energy Efficiency entrepreneur may want to join a first-class incubator, in which she will put the odds in her favour. Alongside, VCs and PEs which invest money in these incubators may want to better significantly better off. So, what are some of the secrets of success of the best incubators? As an entrepreneur, what should you look at before joining an incubator? Here are some answers an expert shares with us.

Dallas KACHAN has “been helping behind the scenes on a new cleantech incubator recently launched in Vancouver […]. And in the process, [he has] been getting the opportunity to learn what other accelerators and incubators are doing well, and not so well, around the world.”

“University of Michigan researchers collected and analyzed data to determine relationships between how an incubation program operates and how its client companies perform, as measured by a number of outcomes.”

“Highest performing incubators were found to exhibit the following characteristics:”

  • No one practice, policy, or service is guaranteed to produce incubation program success.
  • Top-performing incubation programs often share common management practices.
  • Advisory board composition matters.
  • Neither the size of an incubator facility nor the age of a program is a strong predictor of client firm success.
  • High-achieving incubators collect client outcome data more often and for longer periods of time than their peers.
  • Most high-achieving incubators are not-for-profits.
  • Public sector support matters.
  • Incubation programs with larger budgets (both revenues and expenditures) typically outperform incubators with budget constraints.
  • The growth or size of a host region’s economy are poor predictors of incubation program outcomes.
  • A region’s capacity to support entrepreneurship has limited effect on incubation program outcomes.
  • Sanity-check the services you offer, as an incubator.
  • Don’t assume business training is business training. Ensure you have relevant, credible domain experts teaching your companies.
  • Cultivate bench strength in your domain experts.
  • Raise lots of money. 
  • Beware of incubator founders leaving, sometimes collapsing the operation.


Get to know more?


About Dallas KACHAN:

A former managing director of the Cleantech Group, Dallas Kachan is now managing partner of Kachan & Co., a cleantech research and advisory firm that does business worldwide from San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver. The company publishes research on clean technology companies and future trends, offers consulting services to large corporations, governments, service providers and cleantech vendors, and connects cleantech companies with investors. Kachan staff have been covering, publishing about and helping propel clean technology since 2006. Details at


Sources: The full version of this post was originally published here and is republished by permission.


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