New York University will stimulate creation of clean-energy companies by launching a certificate program to train experienced business professionals in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The new program, called Clean Start, will provide a comprehensive foundation for 15 professionals interested in establishing companies in, or making a career change to, those growing fields.
The Clean Start program, which is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), was developed by the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs (CGA) and the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resilient Economy (NYC ACRE), which is the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering clean-energy incubator seeded by NYSERDA.
Candidate selection will begin November 3, 2014 for the program, which will start in January 2015. Clean Start comprises a 120-hour, evening and weekend curriculum, taught at NYC ACRE’s home in the NYU Urban Future Lab in Downtown Brooklyn. Upon successful completion, participants will earn the CGA-NYC ACRE Certificate for Cleantech Professionals from the NYU School of Professional Studies.
Clean Start will offer both technical knowledge and insider networking opportunities for the selected participants. Business and clean-energy experts from New York City’s burgeoning cleantech sector will present content and act as mentors. Participants will be linked with a New York City-based cleantech startup company and will gain practical knowledge and experience through a capstone project.
“Our experience at NYC ACRE has demonstrated how desirous the New York business community is for a fast-track, professional education and training program that prepares working professionals to transition into the field of clean energy-related technologies and to reap the economic opportunities afforded by this rapidly expanding sector,” said Kurt H. Becker, NYU School of Engineering vice dean of academic affairs. “Clean Start also exemplifies our school’s strategic priority of sharing the spirit of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship that drives our students, faculty, and staff with the NYC community at large. Clean Start is designed to train professionals who upon completion of their certificate will start, join, advise, or invest in clean-tech companies in New York.”
As part of Clean Start’s mission to expand the pool of clean-tech professionals in the state, it will offer scholarships to qualified candidates demonstrating financial need. Organizers have also applied to enable military veterans to cover program costs under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
NYSERDA supports Clean Start, along with a number of programs dedicated to growing cleantech business in the state. A companion program to Clean Start, NY EXCEL, launched at Skidmore College in August 2014.
“NYSERDA’s partnership with NYU and Clean Start will help establish and grow clean-energy businesses in the state that can create innovative new clean energy solutions for New York,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “The efforts of Clean Start align with Governor Cuomo’s goals of growing new business and jobs, as well as creating an energy delivery system that is more resilient, efficient, affordable, and clean.”
“The development of environmentally and climate-friendly energy solutions is an imperative,” said Carolyn Kissane, academic director and clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs. “We are very excited to be partnering with NYC ACRE and NYSERDA on this program. At the CGA we believe strongly in offering programs in applied knowledge so that our students excel professionally. The Clean Start program embodies this—it is taught by experts in the cleantech field and will provide robust opportunities for participants to make connections within the industry and to be part of bringing green energy technology to the marketplace.”
Job growth in the clean-energy sector has recently been spurred by national mandates and international accords that attempt to stem climate change. Growth is expected to continue—clean energy accounts for only 11 percent of all energy production in the United States. According to a recent report by Environmental Entrepreneurs, New York State ranked sixth in the number of new clean-energy jobs (595) that will be created by projects announced in the second quarter of 2014.
For more information on Clean Start, to apply, or to get involved, visit http://www.nycacre.com/cleanstart
Image:NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering By GK tramrunner229 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons