Sponsor Spotlight
Shirley Weese Young

The sponsors who fund our investment awards and provide invaluable industry connections all have different reasons for supporting Clean Energy Trust and our entrepreneurs - but they are all united in their unwavering commitment to accelerating a low-carbon future.

The Clean Energy Trust Challenge, our annual investment and accelerator program, is only made possible by visionary philanthropists, foundations, investors, and corporations.

The sponsors who fund our investment awards and provide invaluable industry connections all have different reasons for supporting Clean Energy Trust and our entrepreneurs – but they are all united in their unwavering commitment to accelerating a low-carbon future.

Our ongoing Sponsor Spotlight Q & A series will seek to highlight these amazing leaders, who know that clean energy technology development and deployment is one of the smartest investments you can make.

Challenge2015_AwardsReception_ShirleyWeeseYoungShirley Weese Young, is a leading climate change advocate and philanthropist who sits on Sierra Club Foundation’s Board of Directors. This year for the first time, she’s sponsoring the “Power Clean Cities Award” ($20,000) for the company employing clean tech innovation to promote resilience and social justice in the urban environment.

Q: Why is supporting clean energy innovation important to you? What are some actions you’ve already taken towards this effort?

A: Every day I step on this Earth, I consider the size of my shoes. What can I do? What does action look like? How can I energize others to get involved?

I think about the words that might move others; I ponder the spectacular beauty and fragility of the planet that supports us all. And all the while I quietly, steadfastly invite all those around me to join our movement.

Q: As an attendee at last year’s Challenge – what were some highlights for you? What are you most excited for this year?

A: Last year I was invited to attend the Clean Energy Trust Challenge. The energy in the room emanating from the excitement of innovation and possibility gave me goose bumps- the good kind! By midday, I was completely hooked and knew I wanted to support the hard work and creative thinking that I was seeing and hearing from the startup companies.

Q: Why was it important to you to continue sponsoring clean energy innovation through Clean Energy Trust? As a first time sponsor, what attracted you to Clean Energy Trust?

A: What better antidote, in a time of lies and negativity and backward thinking, than an organization like Clean Energy Trust that promotes, nurtures, and applauds forward solutions-based thinking?

The application deadlines are approaching. Spread the word – and Save The Date for the Challenge Showcase on April 12, 2016!

Early Submission Deadline: December 23

Early Stage Company Deadline: January 6

Student Company Deadline: January 13

By Emily Achler | December 9, 2015