Cleantech to Market

Energy Institute at Haas

Entrepreneurs and Researchers

C2M Technology Application & FAQs

C2M is now accepting applications for its 2018 program. All applications are due on Friday, February 24 by 6 pm Pacific. Selected technologies will receive approximately 1,000 hours of comprehensive technology assessment and market research, beginning in late August. The program culminates in December 2018 with an in-depth market report, a public symposium showcasing the innovations, and presentation materials to be used for prospective investors or grant applications.



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What is Cleantech to Market (C2M)? 

C2M is an interdisciplinary program at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, that helps commercialize emerging cleantech from startups, leading universities and Department of Energy laboratories. C2M provides 1,000 hours of technology assessment, market research, and highly redefined recommendations for each project, including the identification of initial target customers, commercialization pathways, performance specifications, and potential funding sources. See C2M website.

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How does C2M work? 

C2M first chooses a select cohort of inventions that have strong potential for cleantech commercialization. C2M then hand selects commercialization teams comprising top UC Berkeley graduate students from over 20 programs, including business, engineering, science, law, policy, and the Energy and Resources Group. C2M supports the teams with professionals who bring deep subject matter expertise (e.g., grid operations, storage economics, early-stage venture development). These professionals guide the students as speakers, mentors and key contacts (each team interviews approximately 50 relevant industry contacts). Brian Steel, Bev Alexander, and Bill Shelander lead the C2M process, contributing a combined 60+ years of experience in energy, innovation and entrepreneurship.

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If my project is selected, what will I receive? 

Each project receives approximately 1,000 hours of dedicated commercialization assessment. Your C2M team will prepare an in-depth market report tailored to your research along with presentation slides.  Both are finalized in December, and you may use them for any purpose including grant applications and discussions with investors. See 2017 C2M Projects, 2016 C2M Projects, 2015 C2M Projects, 2014 C2M Projects, and 2013 C2M Projects.

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How will this help commercialize my research? 

Investors review hundreds of inventions before they select the few they fund. In the process, they ask questions such as: Who will buy this? How much will they pay? Does it meet customer needs better than competitors?  Is there a “pain point” likely to increase sales rapidly? Will manufacturing challenges or switching costs inhibit adoption? What market will you target first? Will regulations and other trends accelerate or derail your product? C2M explores these and many and other questions in depth for each project.     

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Have entrepreneurs and researchers found C2M valuable? 

C2M is entering its tenth year, and has served over 200 entrepreneurs & researchers from (1) startups across the US, (2) top-tier universities such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, Caltech, Princeton, and MIT, (3) DOE-sponsored programs such as ARPA-E and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and (4) accelerators/incubators such as Cyclotron Road, Cleantech Open, and the CalSEED network. Feedback on the program has been extremely positive.  

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Will my work be treated confidentially? 

  • Application: C2M's review committee does not sign NDAs, so your application should be specific enough to evaluate, but general enough to protect your intellectual property.   
  • C2M Course: Each team in C2M will sign NDAs, so confidential information should be shared with C2M students to facilitate deep market research.        
  • Slides: C2M will sponsor an all-day public symposium to showcase the projects.  You will review draft slides, and we encourage you to attend so you can meet and talk with industry participants.       
  • Report: If necessary or desired C2M will create two versions of your market report to redact confidential information before a limited distribution to C2M partners and sponsors.

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How does C2M’s selection process work?

The selection committee will include faculty, tech transfer staff, potential investors, and industry partners (see C2M Partners and Sponsors). C2M's committees will choose a select cohort of projects for the fall program, based upon the strength of their potential to help accelerate the development of a cleantech economy.

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What is the timeline? 

Technology Applications Due
February 24
Projects Selected for Fall
C2M Student Teams Selected
April - August
Technology Evaluation &
Market Assessment
Fall Semester
Final Market Reports due

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Do I have obligations if my technology is selected?

During the semester you, or someone who knows your technology well, must be available for one hour of weekly Q&A, as well as be responsive to inquiries from the team. Some researchers form a much more involved working relationship with their teams and chose to spend much more time with their team. Towards the end of the semester, you will review draft slides for C2M’s public symposium, and we encourage you to attend so that you may meet industry participants interested in your work. In early December, you will meet with your C2M team to debrief their findings, and you may redact sensitive information from your market report before a limited distribution to C2M sponsors.

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What roles do C2M Partners and Sponsors play?

C2M Partners and Sponsors share our vision of helping translate cleantech research into market opportunities. As a result, they help with project selection, mentorship, financial support, and introductions to leading industry experts. They also invest in energy research (one sponsor provided seed funding for a C2M startup). In some cases, we share redacted versions of our market reports to thank them for their support. All licensing will be handled by the relevant technology transfer offices.

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  • "My C2M team was extremely insightful, hard working, and capable - a gigantic value-add, and we're using their findings in grant applications and fundraising pitches.”
    - Zachary Sun, CEO, Synvitrobio
  • "We received an SBIR grant thanks in large part to the incredible work done by our C2M team!”
    - Jill Fuss, Co-Founder, Cinder Bio
  • "We were thrilled with the progress, understanding, and relationships that developed in the C2M program, and we highly recommend it.”
    - Liam Berryman, CEO, Nelumbo
  • "The team did an amazing job of obtaining interviews with key people, which resulted in productive discussions and connections with potential investors.”
    - Steve Yamamoto, CEO, Matrix Sensors
  • "I was thrilled to work with a team of students to explore the market opportunities for my research."
    - Christine Ho, Co-Founder Imprint Energy, PhD Material Sciences
  • " On every criteria – rigor, relevance, realism, grasp of the technical, policy, and business implications – this was nowhere near good, it was great. ARPA-E has high expectations. You've exceeded them and then some."
    - Josh Gould, Tech to Market Advisor, ARPA-E
  • "C2M occupies a vital niche... providing campus researchers with information and insights on the critical questions to move projects closer to commercial relevance, and in-depth market analyses that inform and catalyze industry investments. Several startup companies have emerged from C2M activities, so you are an economic driver of the region as well."
    - Carol Mimura, Assistant Vice Chancellor, IPIRA, UC Berkeley