Skip to main content

Find out how our unique program helps cleantech startups bridge the “valley of death.

Decorative video

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.

3 Review application questions

The application questions are available for review and practice before the application window opens. Check back in early January, 2023 to view our 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 hosts information sessions to go over the application manual and process as well as answer any questions you may have. Information sessions for 2023 will be:

7 Complete the initial application online

The initial application takes about an hour to complete through Smart and Simple. 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 is set by the California Energy Commission and is the first thing the technical review committee looks at when scoring applications. 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

Each year, the technology areas we are looking for change. Our new technology areas for our 2023 solicitation are coming soon!


Coming in January, 2023.


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.

Signup for our mailing list to get up-to-date info about our upcoming funding opportunities!

Newsletter Signup