The West Gate Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program philosophy puts innovators first. West Gate embeds innovators at NREL and supports their evolution into successful entrepreneurs, helping them bring their clean energy technologies to market.West Gate selects three to five innovators to participate in each cohort.
In September 2022, West Gate welcomed its inaugural cohort, which is composed of four innovators who are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office and Building Technologies Office.
Andrew Gabor is the chief technology officer and director of business development
for BrightSpot Automation, which provides the solar energy industry and photovoltaic
researchers with specialized manufacturing and measurement tools. During Gabor's time with West Gate, he will focus on the development of new solar panel defect
imaging tools based on UV fluorescence technology and the automated analysis of solar
panel and solar cell defect images through machine learning software. Gabor is supported by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office.
Grant Gunnison is the founder of Zero, a home-electrification marketplace that simplifies
deployments for single-family homes. He previously developed CubeSat laser communication
terminals at NASA and MIT and ran a general contracting business. Gunnison understands
residential market challenges and leverages his expertise to change how solutions
are delivered to accelerate deployments. During Gunnison's time with West Gate, he
will further develop his platform and build out his team. Gunnison is supported by
the Building Technologies Office.
Mikhail Konev is pioneering a new method to separate and depolymerize polyester plastics from postconsumer synthetic textiles and packaging to enable their full circularity. During his time with West Gate, he will optimize and validate this method from bench to multi-kilogram scale, characterizing postconsumer-sourced inputs and product outputs. Upon successful demonstration of the scale-up and purification processes, he will produce prototype material for engineering-grade 3D printing resins. Konev is supported by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office.
Stefan Streckfus is a co-founder and chief technology officer of Renewell Energy, which converts inactive oil and gas wells into gravity energy storage. During Stefan's time with West Gate, he will focus on the design and development of Renewell Energy's first to-scale prototype and the creation of the ideal team to build out this concept. Streckfus is supported by the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office.
Learn how to apply to the West Gate program.
From partners and reviewers to sponsors and qualified applicant referrals, West Gate welcomes the support of technical, entrepreneurial, and commercialization experts and organizations.
Learn about all the ways to get involved with the West Gate program.