The Rocky Mountains Great Plains region produces more than 25 percent of the nation’s energy and is home to top-tier research universities and DOE National Labs with nationally recognized energy research centers and entrepreneurs. While the 14-state region has much to offer hardtech startups, there is a clear gap in support for early-stage founders emerging from regional research institutions.
REACH (Regional Energy Accelerator for Commercializing Hardtech) is an energy hardtech accelerator that supports founders — entrepreneurs, university faculty, and beyond — with a comprehensive program and resources to scale their technically proven prototypes into products and services with global impact.
REACH strives to:
- Grow the regional energy innovation cluster through collaboration.
- Build connectivity and engagement to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Expand capacity for advanced commercialization services.
- Establish a pipeline of successful REACH graduates to further accelerate hardtech energy startups downstream.
Led by energy experts, driven by collaboration
REACH is led by Dr. Bryan Willson, a renowned university-based innovator, former ARPA-E Program Director, and NSF I-Corps Site principal investigator. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Willson has developed and fine-tuned the CSU/Innosphere model with Innosphere’s CEO, Mike Freeman, who will direct the business incubation portion of the project.
Dr. Bryan Willson
CSU Energy Institute ED
Innosphere Ventures CEO
REACH Program Manager
REACH Program Manager
REACH is founded on the principle that we are stronger together. Our efforts are based in and reliant on a culture of collaboration. The REACH Energy Accelerator is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, and powered by the CSU Energy Institute, Innosphere Ventures, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, and 20 university partners and referring institutions — organizations that understand R&D-intensive industries and how to address the unique challenges of energy hardtech startups.
Creating impact across the hardtech industry
REACH supports a wide range of energy hardtech sectors, including:
Bringing energy innovations out of the lab and into the world
We know building an energy hardtech company isn’t easy. Not only can it be capital-intensive, it requires:
- Rigorous techno-economic and lifecycle analysis and research
- Complex prototyping and large-scale demonstrations
- Corporate partnerships and sector-specific mentoring
We’re here to help. The REACH Energy Accelerator program provides hardtech-based consulting and mentorship, prototyping and testing, techno-economic analysis support, market research, and a suite of business support services.