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Spark Cleantech Accelerator

Entrepreneur-fellows in Innovation Crossroads, a Department of Energy Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will complete the Spark Cleantech Accelerator, a 12-week program offered by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Spark Innovation Center at the UT Research Park.

The Spark Cleantech Accelerator was created in partnership with Evergreen Climate Innovations and other partners to support early stage cleantech businesses and drive commercialization of their technologies by leveraging the unique science and technology resources of East Tennessee. 

By combining the resources of Innovation Crossroads and the Spark Cleantech Accelerator, we are building a stronger program for entrepreneurs. 

The 2024 Spark Cleantech Accelerator will kick-off on August 19 and conclude with a demo day event the week of November 18. The accelerator curriculum will focus on four key areas, with a tangible deliverable associated with each: Product, Business Model, Finance, and Pitch. 


Deliverable: Minimum Viable Product

  • Focus on defining and creating basic product 
  • Quick testing and validation of business idea 
  • Rapid prototyping physically or virtually 
  • Mitigate capital intensity to prove the concept if applicable

Business Model
Deliverable: Go-to-Market Plan 

  • Formalize vision, mission and strategy 
  • Value proposition to target customer 
  • Understand how to make money generate ROI 
  • Customer discovery 
  • Pricing, channels, sales strategy, and marketing

Deliverable: Basic Financial Model 

  • Understanding of costs, cost structure, and revenue streams 
  • Understanding of funding options (dilutive and non-dilutive) 
  • Funding strategy 
  • Learn to speak to financial projections and strategy

Deliverable: Public pitch at Demo Day 

  • Story telling 
  • Pitching to customers 
  • Pitching to investors 
  • Public speaking 
  • Slide and graphic design 
  • Lots of practice!

Minor Topics
In addition to the core topics, each program participant will have the opportunity to select a “minor” concentration such as Intellectual Property Strategy, Brand Development, or Supply Chain Management. Minor topics will be finalized based on the needs and interests of the selected cohort.