Game-changing technology that leads the United States into a clean energy future is one of the Department of Energy (DOE) goals highlighted in the first-ever LEEP Summit on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. LEEP, or Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, trains the next generation of clean tech entrepreneurs, providing full-time support for two years along with access to the many unique resources, facilities, and personnel in DOE’s national labs. The summit featured the four DOE LEEP nodes: Berkeley Lab’s Cyclotron Road, as well as the nodes at Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm provided opening remarks, followed by pitches from representatives of more than 25 startups from the four participating labs. Cyclotron Road was represented by Interim Director Tom Kirchstetter, Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell, Deputy Director for Research Carol Burns, entrepreneurs from FLO Materials, Intropic Materials, METAseismic, Nitricity, UMARO Foods, and Cyclotron Road alumnus Cuberg.

“DOE’s national laboratories have the ability to take something from basic science in the lab and turn it into something that can impact people’s lives,” said Burns. “The LEEP programs provide an effective mechanism for accelerating science solutions for the world, offering the labs’ expertise and capabilities to help LEEP entrepreneurs realize their vision.”

Burns noted that many Cyclotron Road fellows have benefited not just from the expertise of mentors at Berkeley Lab; they also have accessed user facilities like the Molecular Foundry, the Advanced Light Source, and NERSC, as well as the capabilities offered by other centers and facilities supported by Department of Energy offices.

Said Tom Kirchstetter, “I am inspired by the entrepreneurs who are dedicated  to helping us realize a cleaner, brighter future, and look forward to more amazing accomplishments from the new fellows in our 2022 cohort.”

A recording of the Cyclotron Road presentations is now available.

Berkeley Lab is the first of the nation’s national laboratories to implement a creative fellow-embedded entrepreneurial program. Cyclotron Road works in close partnership with Activate, an independent nonprofit that provides our fellows an entrepreneurial curriculum and mentorship to help innovators learn what it takes to build a viable, scalable business. Cyclotron Road is supported by the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office as one of four Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Programs (LEEP).