What Is CalSEED?

CalSEED is an innovation program that supports our state’s most promising energy entrepreneurs.

We invest in early-stage concepts that will usher in a new era of sustainability for California’s energy future. If you’re developing novel solutions for transforming the energy grid, we want to hear from you.

CalSEED provides up to $600,000 in grant funding for early-stage development of promising new energy concepts.

CalSEED Benefits

  • Grant dollars to fund development of your concept (non-dilutive; no equity stake)
  • A powerful network of technical and industry experts, investors, prospective partners and utilities
  • Mentorship from experienced clean energy entrepreneurs
  • Access to operational and technical resources throughout California
  • Webinars and online training to enhance your business building and fundraising skills
  • Legal counsel to support business formation and intellectual property
  • Opportunity to use cutting-edge facilities through the California Energy Innovation Ecosystem
  • Participation in Cleantech Open Accelerator
  • A community of fellow CalSEED awardees

Social Impact

Thriving California

CalSEED is one of several initiatives funded by the California Energy Commission to advance energy innovation.  This public sector investment helps to accelerate progress against the state of California’s clean energy goals and serves as an important avenue for economic development for the state.  It is important that innovations supported through CalSEED consider the broad social benefits to residents of California across economic development, access and inclusion.

Access & Inclusion

California is a recognized leader in progressive energy, climate policies and tech innovation. But many communities in the state still lack access to clean energy resources.

As we promote energy innovation, we’re committed to bringing the full benefits of a clean energy economy to our most underserved communities by making equity a key component of the CalSEED Initiative. Here’s how:

Social Equity In: Encouraging a diverse pool of applicants

We’re making sure diverse communities across California fully participate in the development and implementation of clean energy solutions by bringing in applicants from small, woman-owned and diverse-owned businesses as well as from underserved, low-income, LGBTQ, rural and veteran communities.

Social Equity Out: Supporting equity-led clean energy solutions

Low-income communities need clean energy investments that create healthier environments and reduce the cost of basic necessities. CalSEED encourages entrepreneurs to develop equitable energy solutions for our most vulnerable populations.

We encourage projects that:

  • Target air pollution reduction in underserved and heavily polluted communities.
  • Prioritize clean energy or sustainability needs (e.g. community-owned and operated energy projects; low-cost energy efficiency programs in low-income communities)
  • Increase access to green technologies and resilient infrastructure in underserved and low-income communities.
  • Create health benefits and economic opportunities in heavily polluted communities.
  • Include meaningful community engagement with underserved and low-income communities throughout project development.