Investing in California’s Energy Future.

Clean energy startups in the Golden State could receive up to $600,000 in grant funding.
Applications open for our 5th cohort are CLOSED.


The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED) is a $24m grant program created to help early stage California clean energy startups bring their concepts and prototypes to market. CalSEED is administered by CalCEF Ventures on behalf of the California Energy Commission.

(CalCEF Ventures is an organization of New Energy Nexus)

How it Works


Apply for eligibility online. Select applicants will be notified of their eligibility and invited to submit a full application.


After an eligibility screening the Technical Advisory Committee scores applications.

Concept Awards

Winners are awarded up to $150,000 in grant funding.

Capacity Building

Once awarded you will have the opportunity to participate in CleanTech Open and in select networking events, workshops and webinars.

Business Plan

Create your business plan and pitch your concept to a Technical Advisory Committee.

Prototype Awards

Business plan competition winners receive up to $450,000 to further pursue their innovations.

Award recipients will be required to agree to the Terms and Conditions.

Award Benefits

Concept Award

  • A fixed grant of $150,000 USD

Prototype Award

  • An opportunity to compete for a fixed grant of $450,000 USD (open to Concept Awardees)


  • Access to corporate partners, investors, industry experts
  • Participate in workshops and networking events
  • Brand promotion through select marketing channels
Our portfolio of awardees includes entrepreneurs working in:
  • Energy efficiency
  • Storage solutions
  • Lighting
  • Consumer adoption
  • Power plant improvements
  • Increased use or improved applications of smart inverters
  • System and/or home modeling tools
  • Heating/cooling energy efficiency
  • Smart Grid components
  • Generation (e.g., Solar, Bioenergy, Wind, and Geothermal)


Who can apply

Individuals / Teams

You can apply without an organization affiliation


Startups, small businesses or other companies

Non-Profit Organizations

Organization with an official non-profit tax exemption