501vc® Seed Fund

Clean Energy Trust invests in early-stage cleantech companies in the Midwest through the 501vc® Seed Fund.

Clean Energy Trust Portfolio Companies

Clean Energy Trust makes seed investments on a rolling basis through its revolving 501vc® Seed Fund, which is capitalized by corporate and philanthropic contributions.

Clean Energy Trust works to demonstrate that investing in and supporting early-stage cleantech innovation can yield financial returns and positive impact. We make direct investments in early-stage cleantech companies to help founders de-risk new technology, find early target markets, and support company development. We invest in companies across the Mid-Continent region of the United States. To date, we have invested in 37 companies in sectors like energy storage, clean water, efficient and smart building technologies, and advanced transportation.

After we invest, we take a hands-on approach to helping companies reach the next level. We join the company’s board as an observer and work actively to help connect the team to pilots, demonstrations, grant opportunities, customers, and investors.

Investment Criteria


Pre-seed through Series A


Clean Energy Trust invests in cleantech businesses that have a positive impact on the world. This includes businesses in advanced materials, renewable energy, energy storage, building efficiency, water, agriculture technologies, and advanced mobility. To learn more about our portfolio, click here.


Clean Energy Trust typically makes investments of between $100,000 and $300,000.

Investment Geography:

Clean Energy Trust invests across the Mid-Continent United States.

Interested in learning more about CET’s 501vc® Seed Fund or applying?
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To learn more about Clean Energy Trust’s Investment Committee, click here.