Support Aggieland

Wells Fargo Awards TEES Clean Energy Incubator $50,000 Grant To Help Startups

The money will be used to help startup companies cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications August 18, 2020

architect with windmill models using laptop
Wells Fargo IN2 is awarding $900,000 to help experts in agtech, finance and cleantech companies.

Getty Images


The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Clean Energy Incubator (TEES-CEI) has received a $50,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) as part of its program to help startup companies retain staff and cope with the impacts due to COVID-19 virus.

Wells Fargo IN2 is awarding $900,000 to help experts in agtech, finance and cleantech companies, and the program is co-administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

According to Wells Fargo research, recent studies have shown that 74% of startups have seen revenues decline since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

TEES-CEI first received a grant in 2017 from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office — part of the State Comptroller’s Office — to pioneer a program for distressed clean energy startups called “Ctrl-Alt-Del.” With the Wells Fargo grant, TEES-CEI will expand those services to distressed CleanTech start-ups by providing pandemic response support, advisory services and curated information and resources to our clients.

“We know that small businesses across America are being hit especially hard right now,” said Trish Cozart, manager of the program.

According to John Pappas, TEES-CEI’s principal investigator, “With the advent of COVID19, our clients needed an urgent change of focus. COVID changed the entire work environment, raised the specter of cash crunches, and changed the risk calculation. Coupling our CTRL-ALT-DEL program with lessons learned from our own response to COVID means we could help immediately.”

“Innovation can and will persist — even during times of contraction — and this expedited funding is designed to support that,” Pappas said.

Wells Fargo is also starting its IN2 Channel Partner Awards program – a $5 million total fund – that hopes to strengthen sustainable technology initiatives and address barriers that startups face on the path to commercialization. The new round of award funds will be allocated toward programming or operational assistance designed to address the unprecedented challenges that startups within the partners’ portfolios are experiencing in the current business environment.

“Wells Fargo’s partnership with Texas A&M has always been focused on making impacts to those that we serve,” said Shane Hinckley, vice president of brand development at Texas A&M. “This is a great example of how a campus wide partnerships with Texas A&M can have a far reaching effect.  The grant to TEES Clean Energy Incubator is greatly appreciated and in line with the vision of where we wanted this relationship to be when we became partners.”

Besides TEES, other college winners include New York University, the University of Texas and the University of Nebraska.

TEES-CEI encourages commercialization of clean energy technologies from TEES and Texas. “Clean energy technology” is any energy-related tech that improves efficiency, reduces waste, or has a favorable environmental impact.

TEES Clean Energy Incubator’s impact is evaluated independently. During the last six-month reporting period, TEES-CEI client companies reported:

  • $8,642,630 in capital investment raised
  • $546,864 in revenue earned
  • $1,475,982 spent in Texas
  • 107 jobs supported

TEES-CEI is supported by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Wells Fargo IN2 program and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.

The awards program was established in 2017 with $5 million of committed funding from Wells Fargo to be distributed to a nationwide network of 63 organizations. Since inception, over 200 grants have been awarded.

Wells Fargo was established in 1852, is headquartered in San Francisco and has almost $2 trillion in assets. It has offices in 31 countries and over 263,000 employees, and it serves one in three households in the U.S.

Media contacts:

Related Stories

Recent Stories