Lawrence Technological University

04/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/19/2024 08:40

LTU’s Centrepolis Accelerator wins national award from Wells Fargo Foundation

SOUTHFIELD-Lawrence Technological University's Centrepolis Accelerator has been named one of 15 national winners of a Channel Partner Strategic Award from the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator(IN²), a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL).

This year, IN² distributed $767,000 across 15 organizations in the Channel Partner network, equipping them to host workshops at Camp Cleantech, Aug. 12-14 at CSU Spur, a Colorado State University learning center in Denver, Colo.

Camp Cleantech is designed to immerse climate-tech startups in an environment ripe with knowledge-sharing and collaborative opportunities. The event aims to equip attendees with tools and insights necessary for navigating the complexities of startup life while providing access to ecosystem leaders, premier partners, incubators, and accelerators.

"We are celebrating this year's Strategic Award winners and looking forward to Camp Cleantech," said Robyn Luhning, chief sustainability officer at Wells Fargo. "As the real economy demands more lower-carbon solutions, Wells Fargo continues to support the scaling of new solutions for a successful shift to a low-carbon economy."

The workshops at Camp Cleantech will cover a range of topics critical to entrepreneurial success, including community and corporate partnerships, financing strategies, organizational development, product design and manufacturing, pilot and demonstration readiness, and crafting compelling value propositions. These sessions are designed to equip climate-tech startups with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Under the program, Centrepolis will present workshopson the topics of "Designing Your Product for Manufacturability" and "How to Partner with Underserved Communities to Develop Clean Energy Projects and Manufacturing Operations."

"We are honored with the national recognition from the Wells Fargo Foundation and NREL as a best in class climatech accelerator," said Centrepolis Accelerator CEO Dan Radomski. "The support allows us to develop unique content to support clean energy hardtech companies as well as provide opportunities for our clients to benefit from attending Camp Cleantech."

In line with IN²'s broader goals, this year's awards also emphasize fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within the cleantech ecosystem. Workshops will explore effective team building through both internal and external lenses, ensuring that startups are well-equipped to build inclusive, resilient, and high-performing organizations.

"The significance of this year's awards goes beyond the recognition of innovation; it embodies a concerted effort to elevate collaboration and engagement across the board," said Sarah Derdowski, IN² program director at NREL. "Through Camp Cleantech, we're setting a new standard in how we gather, inspire, and propel our community forward."

The selection process for this year's awards was informed by comprehensive surveys and insights across the Channel Partner network, highlighting the ecosystem's most pressing needs and areas for development. The awards prioritize projects that offer unique expertise and address key themes such as financing resources, pilots and demonstrations with corporate or industry partners, and strategies for overcoming barriers to innovation.

A portion of the awards, totaling $435,000, is dedicated to a select few recipients receiving additional follow-on funding to enhance and expand their workshop content and insights towards entrepreneurs in their local networks.

IN² launched the Channel Partner awards program in 2017 to nurture the Channel Partner ecosystem, which includes more than 60 cleantech and agtech business incubators, accelerators, universities, and industry experts. Since its inception, the Channel Partner Awards program has distributed more than $8 million, supporting 79 Strategic Awards and 232 Ecosystem or Connector Awards. The nationwide program engages thousands of entrepreneurs, students, investors, mentors, and industry experts.

IN² invites climate-tech startups to register for Camp Cleantech starting May 1. For more information visit the Camp Cleantechwebsite.

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²)

The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) is a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. IN² advances clean technologies from ideation to commercialization-validating emerging startups in the built environment and infrastructure sectors, while facilitating connections with end users who receive practical implementation guidance in support of their sustainability goals. IN² is guided by a mission to foster innovation and increase market adoption of clean technologies to address urgent climate challenges. For more information, visit

About Centrepolis Accelerator

The Centrepolis Accelerator, housed in Lawrence Technological University's Enterprise Center in Southfield, is 6,300 square feet of business assistance for physical product developers and manufacturing companies, a unique niche among accelerators in Michigan. Clients include climate-tech, manufacturing startups, and existing companies looking to move up to the next level in product innovation. Services include product design, engineering, and prototyping, as well as business planning services, office space, co-working space, workshops, mentors and events.

Lawrence Technological Universityis one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932 and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences, as well as Specs@LTU as part of its growing Center for Professional Development. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation's top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation's top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report list it in the top tier of the best Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, "theory and practice" education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech's 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.