One of the more innovative collaborations between a higher education institution, statewide and federal government is unfolding in New Hampshire.
This past February, the Green Launching Pad was launched. It’s a strategic partnership between the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (ARRA).
The organization connects entrepreneurs and private industry with technical, scientific and business faculty, students and state-level resources to successfully launch and accelerate the growth of new green businesses.
Five New Hampshire companies received funding in Year One of the program. Seventy-one businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications for this funding, bolstered by $750,000 in federal stimulus funding.
An advisory board selected the five winners who are now being supported with an intensive business accelerator program aligned with UNH. The companies are connected to business, science and engineering faculty to develop product development, finance and marketing plans. The GLP also builds relationships on the financing side via angel investors and private sector business mentors (disclosure: Beaupre mentored one of the five winning companies, Air Power Analytics).
The new Green Launching Pad businesses are required to help the State reduce carbon emissions in sustainable ways. By building successful companies, New Hampshire believes it will also fuel job growth and broaden economic opportunities.
Governor John Lynch led a roundtable discussion with GLP companies last week, answering their questions and uncovering their needs and concerns. He said “I want to see you succeed in New Hampshire. I want this effort to create jobs. I want to help you win.”
So far, it’s a model bearing fruit in the Granite State.
This week “Venky” Venkatachalam, one of the original GLP founders, told Michael McCord of www.seacoastonline.com “You read about this when you have academia and industry working together. This has been a huge positive experience that could be a powerful force for economic development.”
Clean energy conscious state government, higher ed institutions, energy companies and the corporate sector may benefit by keeping a close watch on its progress.