Entrepreneur-in-Energy: The DOE Announces an EIR Program


The Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) role is one of our favorite classic venture jobs: Get on a venture firm’s payroll and struggle for a good nine months to try to build a startup in which your firm can invest. The Department of Energy wants to mine the EIR magic for themselves and announced an EIR program this week at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy conference to bring “venture capital-sponsored entrepreneurs” into its own labs.

The DOE is looking for entrepreneurs to work with staff at its labs to help commercialize the DOE’s clean technology, and will initially provide up to $300,000 in funding to support three EIRs. Entrepreneurs are supposed to conduct technology assessments and find market opportunities for the lab’s clean energy. Interested parties should apply by Dec. 21, (click here and insert funding opportunity number “DE-PS36-08GO98001”).

We’re blogging from the Dow Jones conference today, where the CEO of PG&E (PCG), Peter Darbee; the CTO of Chevron (CVX), Donald Paul; and the CEO of SunPower (SPWR) Thomas Werner; are all speaking. Good times.


Katie Fehrenbacher

Jim, that’s what I meant when I said the project will bring venture-capital sponsored entrepreneurs into its own labs. But I’ll make it more clear. Thanks for pointing that out.


I think you are confused with this program (or perhaps I am). The program is not about funding entrepreneurs to develop their technology. Rather, it is to pay members of established VC firms to work with DOE staffers to develop DOE technology into business ventures. As the funding notice clearly indicates, only VC firms with more than $10 Million in assets need apply.

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