Activate is a nonprofit organization that partners with funders and leading research institutions to support the Activate Fellowship, a new path for entrepreneurial scientists and engineers to transform their discoveries into world-changing technologies.
Since our launch in 2015, Activate has supported more than 50 innovators developing transformative energy, climate, and manufacturing technologies, resulting in more than 30 new companies that have collectively raised more than $100MM to support their work. The two-year Activate Fellowship provides funding, access to world-class research facilities, entrepreneurial mentorship, networking, and education.
Activate’s entrepreneurial fellowship model was developed at Cyclotron Road, our Berkeley, CA location, which Activate has managed in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2016. Cyclotron Road was originally launched as a pilot program by Berkeley Lab in 2014. The Department of Energy, through its Advanced Manufacturing Office, provided foundational support to Cyclotron Road as the first external sponsor after Berkeley Lab selected the pilot cohort of eight fellows in 2015. Now, Cyclotron Road supports nearly 15 new fellows each year thanks to continued support from DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office and a range of additional funders including the California Energy Commission, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a number of leading philanthropies and corporations.
In 2019, Activate launched a second fellowship location in Boston, MA in partnership with MIT Lincoln Laboratory. This is the first step of a new effort led by Activate aimed at scaling the fellowship model created at Cyclotron Road to support a greater number of scientists and engineers around the world in driving their ideas to impact in areas such as energy & climate, manufacturing, and electronics.
Since 2015, 56 Activate Fellows have been awarded over $18M in direct fellowship support from Activate and our partners.
Science entrepreneurs struggle to find their footing in today’s innovation system, even though their innovations could address society’s most pressing needs. Our goal is to keep them in the game, focused on maturing their ideas into transformative products and businesses.
Ultimately, our success will be driven by the positive impact created by our fellows and alumni over the course of their careers, measured on the scale of gigawatts, tons of carbon dioxide, billions of dollars, and millions of lives.