Cleantech-Focused Incubator Greenstart Now Offering Startups An Extra $100K

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Remember Greenstart, the San Francisco-based startup accelerator trying to make cleantech sexy? Well, today, it’s taking a big leap in that direction. The organization announced it’s bumping up the amount of funding its companies will receive. In addition to the $15,000 in seed funding the incubator provides, startups now also have the opportunity to receive a $100,000 convertible note.

The convertible notes are being drawn from a $6 million fund, which will cover the next 60 companies participating in the program – meaning, the next 6 classes of startups over the next 3 years. Money for the fund, which is currently half committed to, has been raised from a broad group of investors, including angels, VC’s, and even family funds, all of which are interested in supporting these types of startups, Greenstart co-founder Mitch Lowe tells us.

With the additional financing available, the hope is that Greenstart will be able to attract even more developers, he says.

“This allows the startups in the program to stay focused on customer and product development instead of hitting the streets for investors,” explains Lowe. “It should also help Greenstart attract interest from a much wider pool of innovative entrepreneurs for our upcoming programs.”

Previously, Greenstart offered $25,000 in seed funding, but lowered that to $15,000 now that the companies have the extra $100k option. They’ve also lowered the equity stake from 6 percent to 5 percent, we’re told.

Like other startup incubators, Greenstart provides mentoring, discounts, office space, etc., plus it also recently launched an in-house design practice, led by new COO David Merkoski, the former Executive Creative Director of frog design. The design practice is meant to help participating companies with their UI and UX needs – something that’s often lacking in the cleantech space.

But the extra funding is the biggest news for this relatively new organization.

“$15,000 is Ramen money,” Lowe jokes. “With $115,000, you can really make some progress.”

Greenstart just opened up applications to its Fall 2012 program today – the deadline for submission is April 11th.