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Powerhouse: Where Solar Entrepreneurs Succeed (And Party!)

Powerhouse is a solar incubator and accelerator based in Oakland, California. They house 20+ startups, and we got to meet their team at their annual New Dawn summer party last week.


Powerhouse Co-Founder and CEO Emily Kirsch celebrates the success of Powerhouse solar entrepreneurs on stage with her at New Dawn.

Based in Oakland, California, Powerhouse is the world’s only incubator and accelerator dedicated to solar.

Powerhouse incubates and accelerates solar software startups from around the country, with a track record that includes 40 startups, hundreds of entrepreneurs, and 4 acquisitions out of it’s incubator. Furthermore, Powerhouse startups collectively contributed to the installation of 156 MW of solar in 2015 alone.

Its impressive roster includes both incubator and accelerator companies. Two of the newest success stories from the incubator include Powerhive, which raised a $20 million Series A funding round to bring solar to people around the world without electricity, and Mosaic, which just closed a huge $220 million Series C funding round for solar loan financing.

Deals aren’t just happening with the incubator companies — Powerhouse has invested in 12 startups through its accelerator program. If accepted, entrepreneurs receive a cash investment, free office space in the incubator, and training with industry leaders and investors. The deadline for applying to the next accelerator cohort, which runs from January–June 2017, is November 15th.

At the helm is Co-Founder and CEO Emily Kirsch, who previously worked with Van Jones and was featured in our roundup of 15 female cleantech pioneers in 2015. Powerhouse is powered by a small yet potent team with Co-Founder Danny Kennedy, COO Charlene Schachter, and Project Manager Andrew Chang.

While Powerhouse spreads sunshine around the world through entrepreneurship, it also throws epic solar parties. Last Friday, my publisher and I attended their biggest event of the year, New Dawn, where hundreds of solar friends, entrepreneurs, investors, and industry executives united to enjoy mouth-watering paella and tapas, punchy cocktails, and a stellar performance by Inovateus Solar’s band, Reverend Ray and the Everlasting Incentives, who flew in from Indiana to perform at New Dawn. The event was live tweeted and was covered by PV Solar Report.

Sponsors of New Dawn included NEXTracker, The 11th Hour Project, Inovateus Solar, Genability, DLA Piper, and Vote Solar.


Founder and CEO of NEXTracker and New Dawn sponsor, Dan Shugar rocks the crowd with a soul-lifting solo.

Stay up to date with Powerhouse on socials:


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Written By

I'm a marketing and sales professional focused on mission-driven businesses. I'm a journalist, green investor, wellness educator, surfer, and yogi. Find delicious food and wellness stuff on my Instagram @VibrantWellness.


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