Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Newsletter: Spring 2021

This story was originally published in the Spring 2021 edition of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Newsletter.

Industry Growth Forum 2021: Innovation Still Vibrant in a Virtual World

With offices closed and most in-person events cancelled, it's been difficult to know how the cleantech world fared during the last year.

The second virtual Industry Growth Forum, held April 20-22, allowed us to get a snapshot of how the sector emerged from 2020.

The cleantech startup applications that come in are always a good barometer of what's going on - and they were up this year to 157 companies working in a wide variety of technologies.

Number of applicants to the IGF 2021 - Energy Efficiency and Management - 33; Energy Storage - 22; Smart Grids - 12; Advanced Materials - 12; Solar Powering Manufacturing - 11; Sustainable Mobility - 10; Biofuels and Biomaterials - 10; Emissions Markets & Controls - 10; Renewable Power Development - 9; Other Power Generation Manufacturing - 7; Environmental Services & Agricultural Solutions - 6; Waste and Recycling - 6; Waste and Wastewater - 4; Wind Power Manufacturing - 3; Lighting - 2.

Other trends of note:

  • More international participation: Forty companies were selected to pitch, and of those, 12 came from outside the United States.
  • Registration went up to 608 from 558 last year.
  • Sponsorship rose to include 44 sponsors supporting the event. 
  • Networking continued strong. More than 1,200 meetings were confirmed with more than 180 investors.

“The cleantech ecosystem is emerging from the COVID-19 shutdown with new optimism buoyed by an overall sense of enthusiasm and support for technologies that will mitigate climate change,” said Richard Adams, director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. 

The 2022 event will be held in person next year, April 13-14, 2022 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, near the Denver International Airport. For more information, visit our IGF website.