TechBridge + Startups

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Watching CSE Scientists at work. Image courtesy of Emily Dahl


TechBridge typically runs several sponsored programs for startups per year, focused on specific innovation areas and culminating in the selection of top startups to receive testing, validation, or demonstration projects from Fraunhofer. For more information:


Interested in working with TechBridge? Leave us your pitch via our startup form.

Frequently Asked Questions

The TechBridge Fellowship Program is aimed at current or recent graduate students and entrepreneurs interested in cleantech. TechBridge Fellows have the unique opportunity to develop the analytical skills of a venture capitalist while acquiring experience in an applied technical environment built around promising cleantech startups.

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Q: What is TechBridge?

A: TechBridge is an R&D-focused accelerator serving cleantech ideas and entrepreneurs.

Q: How is TechBridge different from other incubators or business accelerators?

TechBridge is able to provide world-class R&D and prototyping services to its clients. This helps to reduce technology risk for entrepreneurs and investors.

Q: Is TechBridge limited to a specific geographic region?

A: No. Our core operations are in Boston, MA, but we have the capabilities to work with entrepreneurs wherever they are located

Q: Does TechBridge have an industry focus?

A: Yes. TechBridge is focused on cleantech related industries. We work with companies in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy distribution, waste energy, water, and other applied technologies with an environmental focus.

Q: Will you sign an NDA?

A: Yes, we can and do sign non-disclosure agreements. However, we would prefer to first get a basic understanding of your concept or technology before signing.

Q: Is my IP safe with TechBridge?

A: Yes. Throughout the entire process TechBridge will keep all client information confidential. Fraunhofer has performed contract research for over 60 years and maintains the highest levels of professionalism. We will also work with clients to develop a secure and defensible IP strategy.

Q: Can TechBridge invest money in my startup/idea?

A: No. However, TechBridge can assist with fundraising and works with a network of venture capitalists, angel investors, and corporate partners committed to working with TechBridge companies.

Q: Do you take an equity position in my startup/idea?

A: No. However, occasionally TechBridge projects are funded by private investors who will negotiate with startups a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (or similar vehicle), in exchange for funding a validation project through Fraunhofer.

Q: Is there an opportunity to work in your offices?

A: No. We ourselves do not provide office or shared lab space to clients, though we can work with you to find appropriate space within your needs and budget through the ACTIONetwork of incubators.

Q: Will we have access to your machines/equipment?

A: Typically not. In general, any R&D work Fraunhofer undertakes on your behalf will be performed by an in-house lab team. Fraunhofer technical staff ensure that the project remains aligned with your goals and needs throughout the process. The end result is like having a large, experienced in-house R&D staff that reports directly to you.

Q: What types of research facilities are available for validation study?

A: At Fraunhofer CSE in Boston, dozens of experts work in building efficiency, solar, and grid technologies. A summary of our facilities can be found here. TechBridge can also connect you to Fraunhofer’s professional engineering staff of 23,000 within 67 institutes and research units worldwide. Specifically, we expect members of the Fraunhofer Energy Alliance to be the most applicable, whose domains include solar, wind, battery, efficiency, buildings and components, intelligent energy nets, and micro-energy systems.