West Gate@Mines

Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program
Hosted by NREL

West Gate at Mines

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the latest expansion of its Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program to accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies. Hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with support from the Colorado School of Mines, West Gate will join three existing sites of the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program to equip scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs with the training, technical resources, and mentorship they need to develop next-generation technologies that will pave the way to a zero-carbon economy. 

“We launched the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship program seven years ago to provide clean energy innovators with a critical bridge between discovery and commercialization,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “We’re thrilled to expand this mentorship program and support more entrepreneurs whose novel ideas will power our clean energy future and ensure that’s it’s made right here at home.”   

Support program

Through West Gate, up to five innovators will be selected via a competitive process and will each receive: 

  • Two-year paid fellowships: Each fellowship provides an annual stipend of $100,000 with healthcare and relocation benefits for qualifying candidates.
  • National laboratory access and research funding: Participants will gain unparalleled access to NREL’s facilities, equipment, and expertise, as well as receive $175,000 of research and development funding to foster research collaboration.
  • Business mentors, entrepreneurial training, and networking: Fellows will have access to experienced business mentorship, entrepreneurial training programs, and exclusive networking opportunities.  These programs will  expose fellows to a wide range of leaders from academia, industry, government, and finance that can serve as advisors and partners. 

Cohort eligibility

We are looking for talented scientists, engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs with a promising technology they seek to commercialize. Selected innovators must relocate to the greater Denver area and commit full-time to building their company for the duration of the program. To be eligible for the program, interested participants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen and able to provide documentation for verification
  • Hold a minimum of a bachelor of science degree in science, technology, engineering, or math
  • Have at least 2 years of post-bachelor experience or education in a technical field
  • Have a technology concept in prototype stage at minimum that is aligned with NREL research and development areas and U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s strategic goals in the areas of advanced manufacturing, building efficiency, and solar energy production.

A formed company is not a requirement for application. However, individuals selected to join West Gate will need to incorporate their company upon acceptance into the program.