Be a Changemaker
with The Energy
Innovation Lab

Application Deadline:


The Energy Innovation Lab is a two-year incubator program with a mission to help support young businesses that have the potential to bring innovation to the energy industry, and increase energy efficiency and affordability. Sponsored by Philadelphia Gas Works in conjunction with Temple University’s Small Business Development Center, this program will provide small businesses with the necessary services and financial and technical support to initiate change.

Our Lab will cultivate a culture of acceptance and inclusion, knowing that diverse entrepreneur and business participation is essential to achieve our vision of an inclusive and sustainable energy future. Through The Lab and its affiliates, we aim to create successful partnerships and a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that reflects the needs of the community.

What is The Energy Innovation Lab?

We invite all members of the start-up and entrepreneurial community to join us in exploring what’s next in the major energy development sphere and help us build a brighter, more sustainable future.

The Lab is open to applicants whose product or service ideas have the potential to bring innovation to the energy industry or increase energy efficiency and/or affordability. Examples include energy products and services that will reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions and/or increase energy access for low-income and other vulnerable populations.

What incentives do winners receive?

The Lab will provide one or two competitively selected energy entrepreneurs with business mentorship, guidance, and support from PGW and the SBDC for a two-year period, including:

Operational support

Workshops and training

One-on-one consulting and mentoring

Energy industry expertise from PGW

A cash stipend of up to $30,000 subject to project needs

Supplemental services, such as contract review and corporation formation expertise through the Temple SBDC partnership with the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Dedicated office and meeting space with internet access and administrative support from the SBDC

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

From the time it built Philadelphia’s first major gas works in 1836 and lit the city’s first gas streetlamps along Second Street, PGW has been a leader in energy innovation in the United States, forging energy solutions for residential and commercial use. Today, PGW manages a 6000+ mile pipeline infrastructure that extends into every neighborhood of Philadelphia.

As the largest municipal natural gas distribution company in the country, PGW serves more than 85% of Philadelphia’s households and tens of thousands of businesses by meeting their traditional energy needs, and offering dynamic energy solutions, like CHP (Combined Heat and Power) for more efficient, on-site electric generation and heat recovery and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) for cleaner vehicles.

Temple Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Temple SBDC, housed at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has served Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1983, providing start-ups and small businesses with professional knowledge and assistance. The mission of the SBDC is to help small businesses grow and succeed.


Call for Applications

Application Deadline

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Finalists Announced

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Pitch Day

Participants will pitch concepts via live-stream, followed by final scoring.

View program here.

Selections Announced

Projects kick off in June 2021 where you’ll work with EPRI and a lead utility on demonstration execution. During those 16 weeks, you’ll also engage the group of utilities and startups for project reviews and create awareness among others active in the utilities sector.


Additional FAQs will be added in response to questions submitted through our Contact Us form (available here), as they are received.

Submissions are due no later than September 17, 2021.

Information on our judges can be found here.

Two rounds of judging will be completed. Round one is scheduled for October 2021. The second and final round will take place in December 2021.

The Energy Innovation Lab is located at the Temple University Small Business Development Corporation in Philadelphia, PA. Awardees will be offered workspace on location for the duration of the project.

Applicant(s) can request up to $30,000 toward their innovation project.

Program participants will be selected by The Energy Innovation Lab judges through a two-round evaluation process. Round 1 electronic applications (click herehere to apply) will be evaluated to select a short-list of finalists. These finalists will then work with SBDC staff in developing pitch materials that will be presented virtually to the panel of judges at a Pitch Day event. Up to two program participants will be selected for the program based on their pitches.

Our team of judges will score Round 1 applications based on the mission, uniqueness, and feasibility of the proposed solution and how the program support and funding offered will impact the development of the solution. Round 1 applications will be scored out of a total of 100 points; score weighting for evaluation criteria is provided on the application.

Other questions? Contact us.