Building Ventures Around Community Energy Challenges
A Sandia National Laboratories Program
Empowering entrepreneurs with business and technical skills in the lean startup model, focusing on validating their business models through customer discovery.
Fostering innovation through generating new business models to address national and community energy problems for a more sustainable future.
Driving innovation through public-private partnerships to transition breakthrough technologies to real-world impact.
How Does DOE Boost Work?
Apply for the Program as an entrepreneur
New Mexican and Alaskan entrepreneurs from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applications close June 30th.
Get Paired with a Groundbreaking Technology
Accepted entrepreneurs will be matched with an exciting technology from federal labs.
Gain experience and knowledge in the Startup Studio
Learn from innovators across industries to develop entrepreneurial skills, ranging from technical know-how to customer discovery.
Launch an Energytech Venture
Finish the program with a fully-realized energytech startup in your hands, without having to quit your fulltime job.
What does DOE Boost look for in an applicant?We welcome diverse applicants who are ready to continue their entrepreneurship journey or take a step into the world of entrepreneurship, without the initial risk of leaving your day job, paying any fees, or giving up any equity. Most prior participants have been employed full-time over the course of this program, but must be willing and able to commit to the workshops, team meetings, and mentorship sessions of this program which typically occur during the week on evenings and occasional weekends. People of all races, genders, religions, abilities, and identities are highly encouraged to apply. We welcome all to apply for, thrive within, and grow from our programming. Technologists: A competitive technical applicant has deep technical experience in a technology vertical(s). Although not required, a relevant Ph.D. is generally a plus for deep tech startups along with 5+ years of industry experience. This role is for a future CTO or VP of R&D. Business Experts: A competitive business applicant (non-technical) typically has experience in the business aspects of the vertical (i.e. business development, operations, marketing, fundraising, strategy). Although not required, an MBA or prior operating experience in a startup is preferred, along with 5+ years of experience. This role is for a future CEO, COO, CMO, or VP of Sales. Career Shifters, Veterans, & Re-Entrants to the Workforce: Individuals who are looking to step out and explore new career pathways are encouraged to apply for DOE Boost.
What are the potential outcomes for me if I participate?There are a lot of great potential outcomes if you participate, but here are the top three we consistently hear from our alumni. Dive into deep tech. As a program participant, you and your team will get a deep insight into a technology vertical and work with inventors, subject matter experts, and potential customers. Learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You will learn the most critical elements of building a startup from the ground up: from customer discovery to pitching, you will walk away with skills that will benefit you on any professional path. Some participants in our program go on to formally incorporate, grow their teams, raise funding, and sell into various markets (including government, businesses, and consumers). Expand your network. Our network of entrepreneurs, coaches, technologists, strategists, and investors will enrich your connections for your entrepreneurial journey in our cohort and beyond.
What kind of technologies will I be paired with?The DOE Boost team is constantly sourcing emerging technologies from many labs, research centers, and universities across the country. The technologies included in our programs can greatly vary in nature (maturity, vertical, etc.). That said, the general eligibility criteria sourced for our programs are as follows: Inventor Availability: The inventor must have indicated availability for the program kickoff and approximately one hour per week to assist their team. Technology Availability: There are no outstanding licenses or discussions currently ongoing for licenses. If the technology is licensed already, it must be, at a minimum, partially exclusive and show promise for other fields of use. Technology Maturity: We like to see at least a lab-scale prototype developed to show a level of validation. This is generally speaking a Technological Readiness Level (a measurement system to assess the maturity of technologies) minimum of 3. Feasibility: Is this technology at a stage, or in a market, where a startup could reasonably be expected to succeed?
How mature is the technology?It depends! The slate of available technologies and their Technological Readiness Level (TRL) varies. Some technologies have the potential to be commercialized in months while others may require a year or more to be market-ready. There is no “easy” button.
What is the time commitment?The expectation for the program is that each team member will be able to spend ~20 hours per week. This is per team member, however, the actual time may vary by week and is not a hard requirement that must be met but is rather a general guideline. It is also important to note that a large portion of the first few weeks of the program includes conducting customer interviews which are typically during the weekdays.
Can I apply by myself or do I need to apply with a team?You are welcome to apply as an individual or as a team. If you want to apply with other colleagues, please note that you will each need to fill out an application and note in your application that you'd like to be considered together.