CEBIP is back in business.
More accurately, the Clean Energy Business Incubator Program – a jewel of Stony Brook University’s commercialization ecosystem – will continue business uninterrupted, thanks to renewed funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Although NYSERDA has made no official announcement – and authority spokespeople declined to comment this week – Innovate LI has learned that the state has re-upped its financial support of CEBIP with a fresh $1.5 million grant, to come in plateau-driven tranches through 2021.
The renewal matches NYSERDA’s original stake in the clean-energy business-development effort. In 2011, the state agency ignited the program with a $1.5 million stipend that was also intended to be dispersed over four years but wound up stretching over six, according to CEBIP Executive Director David Hamilton.
Noting that it’s “not about spending the money, but collecting the money from NYSERDA,” Hamilton said the slower pace involved strict performance milestones established by the first state grant – performance plateaus required of CEBIP’s clients before CEBIP could collect and hand out the NYSERDA funds.
Many of the program’s initial clients were in their pre-seed stages, according to the exec, creating a “longer commercialization path” and delaying some of those milestones.
This time around, Hamilton expects to collect and disperse the funds at a more rapid clip. Not only is the CEBIP program more polished, with dozens of incubated startups under its belt, but the program and NYSERDA agreed about halfway through the first grant process to modify some of those milestone requirements, bringing them more in line with the early-stage enterprises Hamilton’s virtual incubator tends to attract.