Technologies Recruitment

Does your lab have energy or water-related technologies that might be ready for commercialization?

If so, the 15.366 Energy Ventures Class could serve as a great opportunity. Please contact the Energy Ventures TA at to discuss further.

The goal of Energy Ventures is to educate entrepreneurs through hands-on practical experience. The class is an opportunity for teams of business students, policy students, and technologists to build up skills, capabilities, and contacts to create a new venture in the clean energy / water / food sectors. This advanced entrepreneurship course goes beyond general entrepreneurial concepts to address special challenges faced in the clean energy and related industries. Technologies are pitched to the 15.366 class in the first two weeks of the fall semester. Teams then form around interest in the presented technologies and ideas.

By bringing your technology to the class, you do not give away existing control of IP. Involvement of the Principal Investigator (PI) is per interest and unique to each collaboration. 

Please note that Energy Ventures teams are not be considered consultants to a project, but rather entrepreneurs of a new venture. It is thus expected that teams will run in the direction that they deem best suited to their identified market. While no guarantees are made-- not to the students nor the PIs-- the intention is for teams to move forward with the venture after the class has finished. This is an exciting opportunity to test whether your technology has viability in a commercial landscape, and to positively impact the energy-water-food industries.

How to submit your technology

Please send the following to

  • Executive Summary / research poster (existing documents are satisfactory)
  • Rating according to DOE's Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and/or ARPA-E’s Commercial Readiness Level (CRL) [see below]
  • Slides for a 5-minute pitch

Technology presentations will occur Thursday evening, September 10 and September 17, 2015. Please contact with any questions.



TRL1 - Scientific research begins translation to applied R&D - Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples might include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties.

TRL2 - Invention begins - Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Applications are speculative and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions. Examples are limited to analytic studies.

TRL3 - Active R&D is initiated - Active research and development is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Examples include components that are not yet integrated or representative.

TRL4 - Basic technological components are integrated - Basic technological components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together.

TRL5 - Fidelity of breadboard technology improves significantly - The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so it can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include “high fidelity” laboratory integration of components.

TRL6 - Model/prototype is tested in relevant environment - Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in simulated operational environment.

TRL7 - Prototype near or at planned operational system - Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment.

TRL8 - Technology is proven to work - Actual technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration.

TRL9 - Actual application of technology is in its final form - Technology proven through successful operations.



CRL1 - Knowledge of applications, use-cases, & market constraints is limited and incidental, or has yet to be obtained at all.

CRL2 - A cursory familiarity with potential applications, markets, and existing competitive technologies/products exists.  Market research is derived primarily from secondary sources.   Product ideas based on the new technology may exist, but are speculative and unvalidated.

CRL3 - A more developed understanding of potential applications, technology use-cases, market requirements/constraints, and a familiarity with competitive technologies and products allows for initial consideration of the technology as product.  One or more “strawman” product hypotheses are created, and may be iteratively refined based on data from further technology and market analysis.  Commercialization analysis incorporates a stronger dependence on primary research and considers not only current market realities but also expected future requirements.

CRL4 - A primary product hypothesis is identified and refined through additional technology-product-market analysis and discussions with potential customers and/or users.  Mapping technology/product attributes against market needs highlights a clear value proposition.  A basic cost-performance model is created to support the value proposition and provide initial insight into design trade-offs.  Basic competitive analysis is carried out to illustrate unique features and advantages of technology.  Potential suppliers, partners, and customers are identified and mapped in an initial value-chain analysis.  Any certification or regulatory requirements for product or process are identified.

CRL5 - A deep understanding of the target application and market is achieved, and the product is defined.  A comprehensive cost-performance model is created to further validate the value proposition and provide a detailed understanding of product design trade-offs.  Relationships are established with potential suppliers, partners, and customers, all of whom are now engaged in providing input on market requirements and product definition.  A comprehensive competitive analysis is carried out.  A basic financial model is built with initial projections for near- and long-term sales, costs, revenue, margins, etc.

CRL6 - Market/customer needs and how those translate to product needs are defined and documented (e.g. in market and product requirements documents).  Product design optimization is carried out considering detailed market and product requirements, cost/performance trade-offs, manufacturing trade-offs, etc.   Partnerships are formed with key stakeholders across the value chain (e.g. suppliers, partners, customers).  All certification and regulatory requirements for the product are well understood and appropriate steps for compliance are underway.  Financial models continue to be refined.

CRL7 - Product design is complete.  Supply and customer agreements are in place, and all stakeholders are engaged in product/process qualifications.  All necessary certifications and/or regulatory compliance for product and production operations are accommodated.  Comprehensive financial models and projections have been built and validated for early stage and late stage production. 

CRL8 - Customer qualifications are complete, and initial products are manufactured and sold.  Commercialization readiness continues to mature to support larger scale production and sales.  Assumptions are continually and iteratively validated to accommodate market dynamics. 

CRL9 - Widespread deployment is achieved.