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How Does CalSEED Bridge the Gap for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs? Read Our Interim Report.

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How to apply

CalSEED gives grants to early-stage clean energy innovators throughout California

Application steps

1 Determine whether you are eligible

The technology areas being funded changes each year, so it is very important that you review them before beginning your application. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and/or your innovation does not fit within one of the technology categories, your application will be disqualified. More information about eligibility below.

2 Read the application manual

Once you have determined you are eligible to apply, please read the application manual. This resource will give you detailed information on important dates, technical readiness levels, equity and inclusion, and so much more.

2024 CalSEED Application Manual

3 Review application questions

The application questions are available for review and practice before the application window opens.

2024 application questions

4 Review the terms and conditions

CalSEED awardees must agree to the terms and conditions, including providing a detailed scope of work, budget, additional provisions and any other important documents and contact information. See below for more information about terms and conditions.

5 Understand the importance of impact and social equity

Within your application you will be asked to identify how the proposed technology can create economic opportunities, increase access to clean energy solutions, decrease pollution burden, be deployed in a disadvantaged community and/or low-income community, or improve the resiliency and reliability of electricity services impacted by extreme weather-related events (ex. wildfires).

6 Attend an information session and review the FAQ’s

CalSEED hosted virtual information sessions to go over the application manual and process in March and April 2024.

You can watch a recording here!

7 Complete the initial application online

The initial application takes about an hour to complete through SmartSimple. If your application passes the eligibility screening you will be asked to fill out the full application.


CalSEED seeks applications from individuals, businesses and nonprofits that are working on early stage innovations — from concept to basic prototype.
Specifically, CalSEED seeks hardware, software, or integrated solutions that fall between Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 2-4 on the DOE defined TRL scale.
Eligibility criteria will be used to determine which applicants will be asked to complete a full application and advance to the review committee. Please only apply if you can respond yes to the following statements:

  • The proposed innovation benefits California ratepayers — through either greater reliability, lower utility costs, and/or increased safety
  • You are located in California, can provide your California address, and are in good standing with the California Secretary of State
  • Your company is under the $1 Million private funding cap
  • Your concept is on the pre-demonstration scale (Technology Readiness Level 2-4)
  • Your innovation fits within one of the specified technology areas below

Technology Areas

Each CalSEED solicitation focuses on specific themes and technology areas. For the 2024 Concept Awards, applications are being accepted for only these kinds of technologies:

Battery Circularity

Reuse potential: “Second life” applications for used EV batteries

Design for recycling: battery design to better enable material recovery in end of life while maintaining performance

Advanced battery recycling: recovery of critical materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, and aluminum

Alternative material sourcing: sourcing of critical materials from alternative or waste resources, such as copper from mine tailings

Long Duration Energy Storage

High-temperature thermal storage (1,500–2,000°C) using bulk composite materials

Flow batteries with: chemistries at lower cost ($/kWh) and that support long cycle life (LCOS of 2cents/kWh); solvent and active material stability within the flow battery operating voltage range; and are safe with non-flammable and non-toxic materials

Electrifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles

Automatic load management for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles

Onsite battery storage development to support high power charging

High-power electric drive systems for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle applications

End-use Electrification

Electrochemical production of industrial products

Electrification of industrial processes

Wide Band Gap semiconductor devices for efficient power transfer

Advanced EV charging technologies (e.g., high-power charging, wireless charging)

Next-generation electric heat pumps

Technology Types

HardwareSoftwareIntegrated Solution


Physical components—tools, machinery, durable equipment—that require design and testing

Software or digital technology that is based on advanced data science approaches and algorithms, such as machine learning, that provides information and analysis used in the planning and operation of a safe, reliable, and resilient electricity system

An innovative combination of software and hardware where the software is based on advanced data science approaches and algorithms, such as machine learning, that directly controls or communicates with energy-related hardware components and devices


Manufacturing equipment; sensors; components; transmission and distribution infrastructure improvements; equipment

Smart learning from data/real-time modeling; algorithms for grid reliability and control; demand response or distributed energy solutions; sophisticated analytical tools for assessing climate-related risks to the electric system

Solutions which leverage software and hardware to increase efficiency and resilience of the grid and/or solve community access issues (e.g. vehicle to grid concepts)

Out of Scope

Project financing for already existing technologies; manufacturing line scale up; funding a commercial scale prototype; infrastructure projects; natural gas projects

Customer acquisition software; apps/games; website development for an existing company; training and/or workforce development platforms

Single non-replicable solutions; concepts that are not novel or innovative in application

Know before you apply!

If CalSEED funding seems right for you, check out the contractual terms and conditions. Reading them is not only in your best interest but will provide you with important information on what is required of you by signing this contract. Seriously, go read it. Don’t apply before reading!

Terms & conditions


Check out our in-depth FAQ’s page to get answers to your questions. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, you can reach out at Please note that we do not take phone calls and due to the small size of our team may need up to 3 business days to respond to emails.

Get answers
Kevin Kung, CEO, Takachar
"CalSEED has been instrumental in advancing our marketing and technical goals in California, and in doing so, discovering new partners through its networks and events.”
—Kevin Kung, CEO, Takachar
Sven Dybdahl, Director, EH Group Technologies Inc
"Participation in CALSEED has cemented our ambitions to actively grow the California hydrogen ecosystem. Valuable introductions have been only the tip of the iceberg of what we have benefitted."
—Sven Dybdahl, Director, EH Group Technologies Inc
Tim Barat, CEO & Co-Founder, Gridware
“The support and credibility boost Gridware received from CalSEED catapulted our company to early success in building our team and raising money.”
—Tim Barat, CEO & Co-Founder, Gridware

About the program

CalSEED provides Concept Awards to promising innovators, awarding them $150,000 in grant funding, unprecedented professional development resources, and access to the best accelerator and incubator programs in California. Concept Award winners are also eligible to compete for a $450,000 Prototype Award in the annual Business Plan Competition.

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