If selected for the cohort, how much funding support will I receive? Total funding support is estimated to range from $400k-$600k per project over two years. Personal stipends are intended to provide living expenses in the San Francisco Bay Area; exact rates will be based on education and professional experience. Funding for lab space and technical collaboration support from Berkeley Lab will be determined based on project scope and need. All support is subject to performance and availability of funds.

What happens after two years? After graduating, projects may continue to access technical support from Berkeley Lab and Cyclotron Road programmatic support but will be expected to cover the full cost of such support at their own expense. 

What are your selection criteria? Our primary selection filter will be based on your individual strengths as a potential Cyclotron Road project leader. We are looking for the very best outcome-oriented technical founders who have the drive and ability to build a foundational technology vision and lead a team in its development. While ideas may evolve, we do want to ensure that the initial project concept is technically sound, reasonably differentiated, and addresses a well-framed problem with significant long-term impact potential.

Do I/we have to be incorporated to apply?  Applicants are not required to have an incorporated entity in order to apply; however, selected participants will have to incorporate an organization for their effort in order to receive support from the program.

What if I ultimately decide that a startup is not right for me or my technology? That's ok. We believe that housing your effort within an incorporated entity provides the best structure to support you as an entrepreneurial innovator That said, our goal from day one is to support you in finding the best path to drive your technology concept toward impact in the marketplace. That can take many forms, from high-growth venture to licensing or early acquisition. Or you may realize that the idea has a fatal flaw you didn't expect. In any case, our primary goal is your personal success and with it the impact of your idea, regardless of the form that takes.

Can I participate in the program part-time? No. Participants are expected to be “all in” and working on their project full time. As such, you will have to give up any other primary employment affiliation in order to participate in the program. 

Can I still apply if I am affiliated with Berkeley Lab or The University of California (UC)? Absolutely. Anyone meeting the stated eligibility requirements is eligible to participate and encouraged to apply. That said, applicants are required to disclose if Berkeley Lab or UC has any financial interest in the applicant’s background IP or company so that potential conflict-of-interest issues can be identified and managed appropriately. 

Do I have to move to Berkeley? Participation in the program requires that you be substantively in-residence at Berkeley Lab. It’s beautiful here, you'll love it.

How will intellectual property (IP) be handled? Projects are expected to be supported via a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Berkeley Lab, which offers clear IP protection for participants. Those planning to leverage background IP from another institution at Cyclotron Road will be expected to seek and obtain appropriate rights to such IP. Register your application and view the applicant webinar for more details on IP considerations.

Will my applications materials be kept confidential? Your application will be reviewed by scientific and industry experts from within and outside of Berkeley Lab. Based on summary application information, potential reviewers will be asked to recuse themselves from accessing any application that may pose a potential conflict of interest, and any selected reviewers will commit to not disclosing information outside of the formal selection process. We will not share application materials outside of the review process without your express permission. While we encourage you to be as open as possible in your application, we would advise against including any critically sensitive proprietary details. Finally, remember to mark all pages of your application with the footer “Confidential and Proprietary – Exempt from Disclosure”

How is this different from the DOE Small Business Vouchers Program? Cyclotron Road is a mentored program aimed at encouraging and supporting the formation of new U.S. small businesses that are developing energy materials and manufacturing technologies which are otherwise unlikely to be supported by the private sector. The Small Business Vouchers program is aimed at helping existing small businesses access resources across the national lab system to solve targeted technology problems. Some teams may be eligible for both programs.

I already submitted a pre-application. Do I still need to register? Our team will get in touch directly with anyone that submitted a pre-application by Monday, October 3rd . You will have the option to update your information through the full registration form, or simply answer a few additional questions that we have added since you submitted your pre-application.

Where can I address other questions I have about the program? A webinar covering details about the application process and program will be made available to registered applicants. Register your application here.