Funding for Illinois startups
The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund makes direct investments in high-potential, early-stage, Illinois-based cleantech companies to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation in Illinois’ cleantech sector.
The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund (ICEIF), administered by Evergreen Climate Innovation, makes direct investments in high-potential, early-stage, Illinois-based cleantech companies to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation in Illinois’ cleantech sector. The ICEIF provides critical funding where capital is often scarce. The ICEIF was seeded by grant funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and overseen by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more here.
The ICEIF is structured as a revolving investment fund: capital returned to the fund upon a liquidity event (when a company is acquired or goes public) or repayment is used to replenish the fund for future investments and fund administration. This structure is known as an “evergreen” funding model that can self-sustain into the future and continue to provide much-needed capital to promising cleantech ventures in Illinois.
To date, the ICEIF has invested a total of $2.9 million in 11 Illinois-based companies, which have gone on to raise tens of millions of dollars in follow-on investments and currently employ over 200 people. In October 2021, ICEIF company Agentis was acquired by Uplight. This acquisition returned capital to the ICEIF that will be used for future investments in Illinois companies.
Investment Decision Process
Investment decisions for the ICEIF are made in conjunction with Evergreen Climate Innovations’ investment process. Companies apply for funding and Evergreen conducts a thorough review and diligence process. Companies under consideration are reviewed by and meet with Evergreen’s Investment Committee, which is comprised of independent investors.
The Investment Committee is charged with ensuring that the ICEIF recognizes maximum value from the investment funds deployed and relies on the rigorous analysis presented by Evergreen staff, outlining the risks and market potential of the investment decision.
Companies must be based in Illinois, be in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State, and successfully pass through Evergreen Climate Innovations’ application review and diligence process, which considers factors including:
- Adequate capitalization with potential for follow-on investment;
- Active development of products or services that address market need;
- Unit economics that show pathway to profitability;
- Documented customer interest; and
- An established governance structure.
Relevant sectors include renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, water resource management, next-generation transportation, alternative fuels, bioproducts, precision agriculture, and smart grid technologies.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Illinois Clean Energy Innovation Fund Portfolio
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Our investments create jobs, drive economic opportunities, and offer solutions to the climate emergency.