Greetings from David Kenney
President & Executive Director

What Can I Do to Stop the Climate Crisis?

People often ask, " What can I do about the climate crisis? It's such a big problem, and I'm only one person." That's true, but as we’ve highlighted in our newsletters and at the VertueLab Impact Summit, the solutions are known – we just need to get to work implementing them. To build the will and resources to make that happen, we need everyone to be part of the solution. When one person joins others in a collaborative and community effort, together we make a difference.

Since 2007, VertueLab has been blazing a path that accelerates early-stage clean technology development. Our proven model uses a combination of catalytic capital coupled with a range of business support services to help visionary entrepreneurs speed new technologies to market so they can have an impact sooner – entrepreneurs like Andrew Kim, cofounder and COO of Plover, Inc., the world's first chemical-free robotic car wash system ( see video, below).

When it comes to the climate crisis, time matters. Which is why we are laser-focused on helping develop new clean technologies that can impact the climate emergency as quickly as possible.

You can be part of the solution. As you think about your year-end giving, please consider supporting our work with a gift on Giving Tuesday (December 3rd). By making a donation to VertueLab, you are having a direct impact on stopping the climate crisis. Your dollars speed solutions. And together, we all win.

Thanks for being part of our community,
P.S. If you’d like to talk about how your gift can have a direct impact on bringing new climate crisis-ending technologies to market, let me know – I’m happy to talk with you!
Helping Companies Find Investors, New Hires, and More
"We would not be anywhere close to where we are today without VertueLab."

Plover, Inc., a VertueLab-supported company developing a chemical-free, robotic car wash system, competed at the Bend Venture Conference last year. In the video above, Plover's cofounder and COO Andrew Kim talks about the key role VertueLab is playing in the startup's success. "Honestly, it is not hyperbole to say we would not be anywhere close to where we are today without VertueLab," Kim says. "VertueLab is responsible for us having our lead investor, one of our new hires, and continues to introduce us and open doors without us even asking."
Battery Maker Raises $30M from Breakthrough Energy
The VertueLab-supported startup ESS, Inc., maker of large, nontoxic flow batteries used for large-scale energy storage, has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by the Breakthrough Energy Fund, launched by Bill Gates. Early funding and support from VertueLab helped ESS secure a $2.1 million ARPA-E grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy in 2014, and the startup completed a $13-million round in December 2017. Co-founders Julia Song and Craig Evans ( pictured, above) have now raised $47 million to scale up production. Early last year the startup moved the company into a 100,000-sq.-ft. space in Wilsonville, expanded its workforce, and invested in automation. Full story.

Smart Home Technology Startup IOTAS Raises $8.5 Million
VertueLab-supported startup IOTAS, which helps landlords install and manage smart home devices, has raised $8.5 million in a Series A investment round led by TELUS Ventures, along with with Liberty Global and Intel Capital. IOTAS makes software that allows renters, property managers, administrators, and technicians to interact with smart home devices like thermostats and motion sensors. Full story.

Arcimoto Launches Production in OR, Franchise in FL
Arcimoto, maker of the all-electric Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV), has launched production of its 3-wheel electric vehicle at its Eugene, Ore. manufacturing plant (read about the milestone in Forbes, the Business Journal, and the Eugene Register-Guard). The company has also inked its first rental franchise (in the Florida Keys), announced a $2.35-million registered direct stock offering ( Business Journal), and moved into the San Francisco tourism market ( Forbes).

CEO of The Renewal Workshop Featured on TEDx
In the TEDx video below, Nicole Bassett, cofounder of The Renewal Workshop, an Oregon startup that is helping keep some of the 10.5 million tons of textile waste out of U.S. landfills, talks about how we can use business to help heal the planet, and the power of a circular economy.
Building Better Diversity In the Tech and Startup Spaces
VertueLab Portfolio Companies feature women, cofounders of color, veterans

The annual survey by PDX Women in Tech (PDXWIT) that looks at work culture inside technology firms exposed some interesting fault lines this year. You can read the full story in this Portland Tribune story, and see the full survey results at the PDXWIT website. At VertueLab, we are working raise diversity awareness among our own staff and at our portfolio companies. A recent analysis of our portfolio companies revealed the following:

  • 29% of VertueLab's active portfolio companies have women founders or cofounders
  • 18% are led by founders or cofounders of color
  • 3% are led by veterans
  • 47% of our companies are located outside the Portland Metro area
  • 45% are from some underserved community (female, of color, or veteran)
Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator Winners Announced
Technologies range from solar, hemp, and biomass to X-ray shielding

VertueLab and CleanTech Alliance just announced the four winning startups that participated in the 2019 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, a 15-week program that offers Pacific Northwest startups cleantech-specific training in business planning, customer discovery, manufacturing, and planning for environmental and social sustainability. Full story. Winners included:

  • BlueDot Photonics (Seattle), developer of an efficiency-boosting coating for solar panels, won the Grand Prize, valued at $7,500, as well as the Impact Award.
  • Hempitecture (Ketchum, Idaho), developer of hemp-based insulation products, won the Standout Company Award, valued at $4,500.
  • Hexas Biomass (Olympia, Wash.), producer of sustainable, non-wood biomass that can supplement or replace wood in multiple applications, also won the Standout Company Award.
  • Stark Street Materials (Portland, Ore.), producer of lightweight, nontoxic, and recyclable X-ray shielding garments for use in the healthcare, dental, and other industries, won the Customer Discovery Award.

Operated by VertueLab in Portland and CleanTech Alliance in Seattle, the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator is entering its fifth year helping early-stage cleantech startups speed technologies to market through curriculum, mentorship, and business connections. We're already scouting for promising entrepreneurs to be part of our 2020 Accelerator cohort, so reach out if you or someone you know would be a good fit!
Funding Opportunities and Upcoming Events

Application Deadline
Federal SBIR/STTR funding is a great source for early-stage companies, but it is not enough to help a company stand on its own. Business Oregon's matching grants provide funds to help fill gaps in what the federal grant will cover and assist businesses build on projects and advance new technologies. Matching grants are generally up to $50,000 for companies with a Phase I federal grant award and up to $100,000 for companies with a Phase II federal award.

Attend this 6th annual event at OMSI that brings together the regional women in the STEM community and provides a platform for connecting women from many career paths and career levels. Portland, OR

November 19 | Energy Leadership Summit
Presented jointly by the CleanTech Alliance and the Northwest Environmental Business Council, this unique event connects policy with practice and addresses the industry’s current challenges and future opportunities. Seattle

Funded in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration, this funding from Business Oregon is available to assist Oregon small businesses seeking to begin or grow international sales.

Ongoing grants from a wide range of federal agencies that support small business startups and research innovations. Get assistance from VertueLab's SBIR/STTR experts!

Request for Information | Solar Energy Technologies Office
The U.S. Dept. of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office seeks feedback from industry, academia, research labs, government agencies, and others to identify challenges and opportunities for the American solar industry appropriate for federal government funding.

An opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking investment capital to present their early stage businesses to Willamette Valley Capital for capital investment.

If your product or service is “Made in America,” your company could qualify for this matching grant funding from the Northwest Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
Stopping the Climate Crisis Will Take All of Us. Now.
Your donation helps fund, support, and advance climate solutions

VertueLab helps unleash innovation and entrepreneurship to accelerate critical climate solutions. As the climate crisis continues to unfold, it is more critical than ever to ensure these solutions reach the marketplace and achieve scalable impact as soon as possible. Your donation makes a real difference in achieving a sustainable climate future, and we thank you for it.
Let's Collaborate, for the Climate's Sake!
Resources and expertise for innovators and investors

At VertueLab , we support great ideas from entrepreneurs and help donors and investors ensure that their dollars are making a positive impact on the planet by slowing the climate crisis. We collaborate to help transform ideas into successful enterprises and measure the impact all along the way. Contact us and let's see what we can create !