Our entrepreneur, small business, and researcher support programs


The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds’ Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program operates in conjunction with UW CoMotion’s mentors program.  Our EIR advises entrepreneurs and early-stage, cleantech startup companies on: team formation, product development, strategic marketing, fundraising, manufacturing strategy, and business development. Weekly office hours are free and open to aspiring and established cleantech entrepreneurs and business teams. 

Ben Bierman

Ben Bierman brings more than 20 years of technology and operations leadership experience in Silicon Valley and international postings across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. As a business unit head at public companies like Applied Materials, Lam Research, and Coherent, he led development and commercialization of new semiconductor manufacturing and laser technologies and acquisition and integration of startup companies. He worked in clean energy from 2006 to 2018 as EVP of Operations and Engineering at Solyndra, deploying over 100MW of cylindrical CIGS solar panels in 26 countries, and as COO and CEO of GlassPoint Solar, building one of the world’s largest solar thermal plants. Ben is now based in Vancouver, WA, where he owns and operates Integration Advantage, a consultancy for start-up and growth stage technology firms. 

To schedule a meeting with Ben, contact

Past EIRs:

Scott Case – Co-founder and CEO, Recurrent.
Ramkumar Krishnan – technical advisor to companies working in energy, materials, and smart systems.
John Plaza – Chairman of the Board, Membrion, Inc.; Executive Chairman, Agrisoma Biosciences Inc.


The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds has partnered with cleantech investment group, E8 Angels, to establish an Investor-in-Residence (IIR) program. The IIR provides free consultations on funding proposals, investor pitches, financial strategy, fundraising, and strategic partnerships to cleantech entrepreneurs and startups via regular office hours. 

Jeff Canin

Jeff Canin

Jeff Canin is a member of the Board of Directors at E8, a cleantech-oriented angel investment group, and a co-manager of E8’s venture fund. Jeff’s career includes extensive experience in financial services and venture capital. His current efforts are focused on providing advisory services to early-stage companies and university technology commercialization spinouts.  

To schedule a meeting with Jeff, contact

Grant Support

The Testbeds management, staff, and network partners are experienced grant writers and reviewers.  Researchers with aligned technical goals can receive dedicated support for research grants from federal and state agencies, as well as small business opportunities such as SBIR and STTR grants.  Contact to learn more. 

Researchers preparing proposals that utilize the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds are welcome to draw from the following text: The Washington Clean Energy Testbeds is a 15,000 square-foot facility designed to assist in the scale-up, prototyping, testing, and validating of clean energy innovations. The Testbeds are used by faculty, students, and researchers at the state’s leading companies and research institutions, as well as innovative clean energy startup companies from around the United States.

The expert staff and specially-designed facility allow researchers to test materials and develop functional devices at scales from that of a lab bench to a commercial solar panel or battery stack. Furthermore, hardware and software operating systems can be tested for deployment at the utility scale. The lab-to-industry line of sight is supported by the three integrated disciplines of the Testbeds: research and training, scale-up and characterization, and systems integration.

The purpose of the Testbeds is to reduce the capital and risk associated with research and technology transfer from the lab to industry, enabling researcher to maximize the value of grant awards and investment dollars as their discoveries build toward new commercial opportunities. The Testbeds house a community of researchers from academia and industry in close proximity to other cutting-edge research facilities at the University of Washington. This allows individual teams of investigators to pursue the next advancement while building partnerships with other inventors and institutions, including external partners like Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and various other universities.