Grid Catalyst: A new program manager and a new demonstration cohort

May 2024

At CERTs, we’re fans of the work Grid Catalyst does to grow clean energy businesses and jobs. The organization recently welcomed a new team member, Kevion Ellis and launched a new cohort program with some very cool businesses! Hear from Ellis to learn more: 

About Grid Catalyst:

Grid Catalyst is a Midwest clean energy accelerator developing equitable pathways for innovators and commercializing solutions for northern climates. Our program was developed to address gaps and inequities preventing the most promising clean energy innovation from entering the marketplace. Together with regional partners, we will shift the market to more effectively address climate change, grow clean energy businesses and jobs, and improve access and equitable economic development outcomes. 

A man smiles at the camera in a professional headshot photo. He is African American and wearing a brown suit. He has short dark hair and a short mustache.

About myself:

I am the new program manager at Grid Catalyst. I will be supporting Grid Catalyst’s Demonstration cohort, which supports cleantech startups in identifying and deploying pilot projects around the state. Additionally, I’ll manage our new Cleantech Innovation Pathways program, which is aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurship opportunities in the cleantech sector and provide aspiring innovators with resources in their entrepreneurial journey. My background is in public policy and workforce development. Prior to Grid Catalyst, I led workforce and economic development initiatives at the St. Paul Area Chamber as Vice President of Business Development. I have also spent time at the Minnesota Legislature, lobbying on education, environment, tribal government, and human services issues. I am originally from Texas, but have surprisingly enjoyed the cold weather months Minnesota has to offer. 

Snapshot on the cohort:

The 2024 cohort includes Minnesota-grown startups (Carba, Aza Power), startups from around the country (Blip Energy, NeoCharge, Prezerv), and Canada (Solar Steam). Their technologies stretch across a diverse range of categories including, affordable battery storage, 3D utility mapping, solar-powered renewable heat, carbon sequestration, green ammonia-powered combustion systems, and EV charging. They will be demonstrating their tech with pilot partners across higher ed, corporate, utility, local government, and nonprofit sectors. 

Learn more about the 2024 cohort

What am I excited about this year:

There’s so much happening across the local and national ecosystem to be excited about! The green transition is alive and well. I’m really looking forward to connecting our Cleantech Innovation Pathways programming with the work other community partners are doing so that we can welcome the next generation of innovators in the emerging green economy. 


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