New York State Energy Research and Development Program (NYSERDA) EIR Program


About the NYSERDA Entrepreneur-in-Residence (NEIR) Program

The NEIR Program, administered by Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) since November 2018, works with clean energy startup companies that need help from seasoned, executive-level mentors to accelerate their commercialization process. The NEIR program is available, free of charge, to eligible clean energy companies providing a benefit to New York State.

Since NYSERDA began the EIR program in 2010:

  • 150 cleantech companies have received help from EIRs; and
  • These companies have raised over $72 million in investments while commercializing and selling products that have led to the avoidance of greenhouse gases and the creation of clean energy jobs in New York State.

Objectives of the EIR Program

About 90% of all startups fail. According to Cambridge Associates venture-backed startups fail approximately 60% of the time. The NYSERDA EIR program, administered by CTV,  works to improve those outcomes by helping guide earlier-stage companies (seed and growth stages) through obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurial success. The EIRs work on specific projects to help reach revenue goals and produce overall growth.

Program Eligibility

A company may be eligible if they have received a direct NYSERDA investment, or are accepted into a NYSERDA funded program, NYSERDA Incubator, M Corps, NYSERDA-funded Proof of Concept Center or was a 76 West finalist. Alternatively, companies may qualify if they meet these three criteria:

  • has or will have operations in the State of New York, or will otherwise have a significant impact helping New York State reach its GHG emissions and energy goals
  • works on clean energy i.e. is developing a product or service that will have a significant impact on the growth of renewable energy, energy efficiency, or reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • is deemed ready by CTV for development and can gain significant value from the NEIR program

EIR Expertise

Most EIRs are serial entrepreneurs, investors and/or experienced business professionals with diverse backgrounds in technology, manufacturing, business development, investments, finance, operations, market research, etc. The types of projects include but are not limited to the following:

  • Strategic and business plan development
  • Intellectual property development/strategy
  • Sales and marketing
  • Organizational structuring and staffing
  • Board composition and management
  • Budgets and financial projections
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Logistics/operations planning
  • Pitch decks/investor presentations
  • Fundraising from grants, angel investments and venture capital

NEIR Process

CTV first qualifies companies for the program, determines specific needs, and then provides a list of EIRs most suited to help with the identified needs. After the matching/selection process is completed the EIR helps the company develop a list of project goals and milestones to be completed over a predetermined period of time.

Next Steps

If you think your company is eligible and/or to enroll please email Tim Hoffman at [email protected] to start a conversation.