BlueTechValley Innovation Cluster

This Project will expand access to a region-wide energy-water-food nexus incubator and services to support the development and commercialization of new technologies in California’s Central Valley Region.

California State University, Fresno Foundation

Recipient

Fresno, CA

Recipient Location

8th

Senate District

23rd

Assembly District

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$5,873,654

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

In 2023, the BlueTechValley (BTV) project team focused on three key areas Central Valley founders have found the most challenging: testing and demonstrations, funding, and commercialization. The newly developed TEST program combines technology evaluation, advisory support, and potential pilot/demonstration testing sites. Three new community colleges have been confirmed as possible field testing sites, but finding new sites will remain an ongoing priority. Online programming covering grant funding and sales/commercialization was developed in 2023. The Investor’s Toolkit, a resource on startup investment, is also available online. The Valley Ventures Accelerator cohort will begin in April 2024 with a dual-track structure.

The Issue

While Central Valley entrepreneurs are helping to drive new and effective clean energy, water, and agriculture innovations, many are still limited by technical and non-technical hurdles. The most critical areas are testing and demonstrations, funding, and commercialization. On their own, many entrepreneurs do not have sufficient resources to fully test their technologies, develop fundable business plans, or transition technologies from trial or demonstration scale to real-world deployment and commercialization.

Project Innovation

The BlueTechValley (BTV) Innovation Cluster is part of a statewide ecosystem that supports startups with promising innovations and scientific advancements in clean energy, water, and agricultural technology. The Water, Energy and Technology Center at Fresno State manages the cluster using a “hub and spoke” model to provide services to the project-defined Central Valley Region, which covers 39 of California’s 58 counties - from Bakersfield to the Oregon border. Hubs are located at six California State University campuses (Bakersfield, Chico, Fresno, Humboldt, Monterey Bay, and Sacramento) and a wide network of partners provides additional locations and resources for entrepreneurs to access technical and business support.

One of BTV's key goals is to make this support available where the entrepreneur lives, either on-site or remotely. Our growing network of hubs and partners helps us provide a wide variety of services, starting with technology evaluation, proof-of-concept validation, and advisory support, as well as opportunities to connect with investors, industry leaders, and potential customers to commercialize and deploy their products.

Project Goals

Connect clean energy, water, and ag-tech entrepreneurs with resources to develop and deploy products benefiting ratepayers

Project Benefits

This project is leading technology advances by providing and coordinating key services, assistance, resources, and infrastructure needed by entrepreneurs and researchers to create and develop advanced energy technologies that will help the state meet the targets set by Senate Bill 350 to increase both renewable electricity generation and energy efficiency to 50 percent by 2030.

By the end of 2023, the BTV Innovation Cluster had evaluated 500+ companies that raised over $270M in private and public funding and created 800+ jobs.

In 2023, the BTV Innovation Cluster supported 98 active companies that continued to create jobs in the region. These companies have 20 percent of their C-suite filled by women and 47 percent filled by minority groups with 21 percent located in disadvantaged communities. Their employee teams are made up of 19 percent women and 16 percent minority groups.

Economic Development

Economic Development

The BlueTechValley Innovation Cluster helps facilitate successful clean energy, water, and ag-tech entrepreneurship. By the end of 2023, BTV Innovation Cluster-supported companies raised over $270M in total private and public funding and created 800+ jobs.

Key Project Members

Eric Hadden

Eric Hadden

Director
Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center
Samuel Fairbanks

Samuel Fairbanks

Assistant Director
Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center
Jose Cobos

Jose Cobos

Program Specialist
Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center

Subrecipients

Rocket

UC Davis

Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation

Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation

Rocket

Foundation of California State University Monterey Bay

California State University, Sacramento

California State University, Sacramento

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

Rocket

The Grant Farm, Inc

Upcoming Events

Past Events

Browse past events to access presentation slides and recordings.

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