The New England Clean Energy Council is working hard to both create a cluster of energy and cleantech executives/entrepreneurs/enthusiasts in the New England region, and to increase the profile of the nascent energy industry in the region so dominated by IT/life sciences companies.
Among other things, they have done an excellent job in starting to gain visibility into the Massachusetts legislature and to push for an agenda to promote and support the clean energy entrepreneurs and their startups. Energy industry is unlike other industries – it is even slower moving than the automotive industry – and there is a lack of experienced/repeat entrepreneurs who can bring their knowledge of old war stories to bear down in tough times.
Hence, the initiative recently announced by the NECEC to create fellowships for training and transitioning of former IT/life sciences executives into the energy industry so they can become better acquainted with and knowledgeable in the management of cleantech industry. It is an excellent proposal, though not surprising given that a large number of NECEC members and even leaders fit the profile of those who can use this training themselves (notice the NECEC logo – looks familar?)….but more importantly, while I do think you cannot train an entrepreneur in a short crash program, such as the 3-month program NECEC proposes, it will go a long way in making enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to enter the cleantech industry feel less intimidated, better networked, more familiar with the background info on the incumbent energy industry, and clustered together for support from each other.
Kudos to NECEC for organizing this!