Model & Strategy

Clean Energy Trust provides catalytic capital and support to early-stage startups in the Mid-Continent region of the United States working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Clean Energy Trust believes in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to conserve natural resources, protect the environment, and combat climate change. Moreover, entrepreneurship and innovation create jobs and stimulate economic development in underserved regions of the Mid-Continent region. To date, Clean Energy Trust has invested in 31 portfolio companies.

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At a Glance
Founded: 2010
Current CEO: Erik Birkerts
Environment & Climate Change
Location of work: Domestic, Midwest
Clean Energy Trust
Chicago, IL
Fueling clean energy innovation in the Midwest
Meet Erik Birkerts

Erik Birkerts has over 25 years of operational and general management experience, including project financing and strategy development for energy efficiency and clean technology companies. Erik currently serves on the board of Milbank Manufacturing, acts as a senior advisor to Metrus Energy, and serves as a board observer for multiple CET portfolio companies. He also serves as a Mentor for the Obama Foundation Scholars program and as an Executive Mentor for the Baumhart Scholars MBA program at Chicago’s Loyola University. He earned an MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BA with honors in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University.

IMPACT

Clean Energy Trust has invested $5.3 million in 31 companies from the Midwest and has helped to create over 550 jobs since its inception in 2010.

Clean Energy Trust provides catalytic capital to address Midwest capital scarcity and support to early-stage startups working on solutions for clean energy, decarbonization, and environmental sustainability. Clean Energy Trust’s portfolio companies have raised $26 of additional investment for every $1 of Clean Energy Trust investment.

More than half (55%) of Clean Energy Trust’s portfolio companies have female or minority founders. The vast majority (68%) of Clean Energy Trust’s portfolio companies are generating revenues, with 29% recognizing greater than $1 million in annual sales; Clean Energy Trust has profitably exited four investments and reinvests the proceeds into new startups.