NEXUS-NY is a clean energy proof-of-concept center (POCC) administered by High Tech Rochester. This initiative was developed and funded by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and is built on the understanding that: scalable startup companies are engines of technology commercialization and economic growth; universities in New York are conducting a significant amount of energy-related R&D; the transition of R&D to scalable business startups happens infrequently; changes in university-ecosystem engagement can increase the rate of startup formation and the likelihood of startup success; and, there is a key gap at the “proof-of-concept” stage of product development.
The goal of the program is to provide early-stage support to enable the development and validation of promising clean energy technologies that are, or will become, the platform for start-up companies located in New York State.
The program is run in 12-month cycles with a cohort of 12 teams. The program operates in two phases with a few primary objectives:
Phase 1 follows an intense, 12 week process utilizing the “lean startup” methodology. During this phase, NEXUS-NY “discovery teams” will develop and test numerous business hypotheses through interactions with industry participants. The desired outcome is for NEXUS teams to validate whether a viable and scalable business model exists and to decide whether and how best to pursue their commercialization objectives.
Phase 2 allows teams to de-risk their technology by building prototypes while continuing to engage customers and to develop their go-to-market plans. Some teams will form companies during this period and those companies will seek third party validation of their technologies and business models.
NEXUS-NY provides financial, educational and business support during the course of this program.