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For Startups

Accelerate your success and speed to market with us.


Bring your innovation to market faster with the best-networked climate tech accelerator.

We’re looking for world-changing climate tech startups with significant climate impact potential, addressing billion-dollar markets bringing innovations in hard science, hardware, software and business models to the world. If accepted, you’ll take part in our virtual, 18-month accelerator program.

We’re here to help you accelerate the path to commercialization and bridge the gaps to access the financing and resources you need to succeed. We do so by connecting the world’s most promising climate tech startups—like yours—with Third Derivative’s network of committed investors, corporate partners, market experts, and mentors.



Submit Your Application

The challenges climate tech startups face are not one-size-fits-all. Our flexible, virtual 18-month accelerator is designed to meet your startup exactly where you are. From day one, you'll be matched with an Account Manager who serves as your bridge to our curated network of partners.

Apply Here


Why join Third Derivative’s global climate tech accelerator?

Remote, flexible, tailored programming

Third Derivative is not a one-size-fits-all accelerator program. Our program is designed to meet your startup’s current growth stage head-on with tailor-made programming based on your needs. Your experience in the accelerator will be as light-touch or involved as you desire.

Accelerated pathways to scale with Third Derivative’s strategic corporate partners

Third Derivative’s dynamic network of corporate partners help you fast-track your pathway to commercial deal-making. Our corporate partners are fully invested in your success.

Unparalleled market experts and techno-economic analysis powered by RMI

Gain access to RMI’s 700+ energy professionals’ expertise and network. RMI works across power, transport, buildings, and industrial sectors on six continents and has deep connections to all parts of the energy value chain including government, corporates, and NGOs.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You must have a minimum of two full-time employees (no upper limit) 
  • You must have a working prototype i.e. achieved a Technology Readiness Level of 4
  • Your startup is a for-profit company
  • No basic science risk
What geographies are eligible?

What geographies are eligible?

As a global accelerator program, we welcome applicants from all over the world. 

Do you focus on a particular climate technology?

Do you focus on a particular climate technology?

Third Derivative focuses on hardtech climate innovations including the following (and more):  

  • Efficient building cooling, heating, and envelope
  • Efficient building lighting and appliances
  • Advanced construction for more efficient buildings (prefab, 3D printing, etc.)
  • Batteries (new chemistry, BMS, manufacturing, etc.)
  • Electric transportation
  • Vehicle efficiency technologies
  • Long-duration energy storage
  • Renewable power generation
  • Power electronics and hardware for a low carbon electricity grid 
  • Carbon capture and utilization
  • Carbon markets
  • Methane capture
  • Green hydrogen
  • Renewable process heat
  • Biofuels, synfuels, and low carbon chemicals
  • Low carbon steel and cement
  • Other low carbon materials
  • Computing and communication technology efficiency
  • Financing and project development innovation that expands or accelerates adoption of climate technologies
  • Enabling software (e.g.: building energy management, grid management) that expands or accelerates adoption of climate technologies

Please apply even if your technology wasn’t listed above. 

Climate tech requires many fresh and out-of-the-box approaches. We welcome any innovation that can mitigate or remove significant greenhouse gas emissions, and any innovation that can enable faster and greater adoption of greenhouse gas mitigating or removing technologies that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. 

For reference, here's how (and why) we measure climate impact:

What is your admissions process?

What is your admissions process?

Once you submit your application, it is sent to our research team. We begin by doing an initial review of your startup focused on climate impact, techno-economics, business model, and competitive landscape. If your company seems like a fit, we will set up a first-round interview to learn more. 

After passing the first-round interview, we engage our ecosystem for feedback, both asynchronous and via a final interview round that includes a pitch session with representatives from Third Derivative, RMI, and Third Derivative’s corporate and investor ecosystem. After these two interviews, we will make a decision, and communicate your acceptance into the program by email. 

The whole process takes approximately three months. We accept startups multiple times a year, and after acceptance, you are connected with our Ecosystem Success team who will onboard you and your team.

What if my team doesn’t speak English?

What if my team doesn’t speak English?

The program is in English, so professional proficiency is required.

How does the program support early to late-stage startups?

How does the program support early to late-stage startups?

For early-stage startups, Third Derivative helps you to refine your product-market fit, connects you with strategic corporate partners, capital partners, and mentors, and prepares you for your next funding round. 

For later-stage startup (Series A or later), we encourage you to apply if you think we can help you grow. The program focuses on helping you deploy with corporate partners (from within the program and beyond), getting the funding you need to grow, and coaching you through your growth process. 

For all stages, the curriculum is flexible and is customized to what you need and when you need it.

How will my application be evaluated?

How will my application be evaluated?

Below are the categories that our team uses to assess each application: 

  • How significant are the climate benefits if the technology or innovation is broadly adopted?
  • Is there a techno-economic pathway to scale and sustainability? 
  • Can Third Derivative help the team to raise capital to achieve their goals?
  • Can Third Derivative help the team with corporate partnerships and commercialization?
  • Is the team a good fit as an engaging participant and contributor to our collaborative ecosystem? 
Does this accelerator program require exclusivity?

Does this accelerator program require exclusivity?

No, our program does not require exclusivity. You can participate in our program while in another program. You can also work with other funds, corporates, or customers. We want you to succeed.

What is expected of startups as part of the program?

What is expected of startups as part of the program?

Third Derivative (D3) is a highly-tailored accelerator program. By taking part in the program you commit to: 

  • Participating in regular check-in calls with your D3 Account Manager 
  • Being a productive member of the global D3 ecosystem 
  • Actively updating D3’s ecosystem platforms to keep information current for our partners 
  • Completing a quarterly survey gathering Net Promoter Score (NPS), program feedback, and company growth metrics (e.g. revenue, pilot progress, capital raised, headcount, etc.)
  • Accessing an array of programming—although it’s up to you how much you’d like to attend. Think of this as a choose-your-own-adventure experience.
How will my confidential information be protected?

How will my confidential information be protected?

Third Derivative treats all application data with care and discretion. 

We share information with our investor and corporate partners as needed for the selection process. The purpose of sharing information with our partners is to facilitate potential access to investment and deployment opportunities. 

Please do not disclose any proprietary information in your application, but share your competitive advantage and differentiation.

Subject matter experts from our corporate, investor, and expert network evaluate our applicants, and our decisions are based on our collective assessment of impact, program fit, and how much we can add to your success.

What happens at the end of the 18-month accelerator program?

What happens at the end of the 18-month accelerator program?

You become an alumni of our ecosystem with continued access to the majority of our programming, network, resources, and more. The primary difference is the absence of a dedicated Account Manager and regular check-ins with our team. You may be offered the occasional opportunity to provide support to incoming startup cohorts.

Should I reapply?

Should I reapply?

If you have previously applied, your company is in our database, so we will proactively reach out to you should an opportunity to join our program arise. 

If your company has made significant changes (e.g., new funding, new partners or deployments/pilots, technological or techno-economic breakthroughs or proof points, etc.) since you last applied, please apply again and make note of the changes. 

"Third Derivative's patient perspective (18 months) and light, but tailored and targeted touch means we have extracted maximum value from the program whilst being able to build Mission Zero at the speed our ambition demands. If you're a founder doing hard things, you'd be hard pressed to find a better program/collection of people to bring along for the journey."

Nick Chadwick, CEO
Mission Zero Technologies

"D3 has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for TS Conductor. We are grateful for the support from D3 and colleagues. It should be the role model for other incubating platforms. The system D3 is building to support startups like mine is amazing, and there is also a critical mass in the cohorts to fully leverage the collective effort. Just amazing, and for a very worthy cause!"

Jason Huang, President & CEO
TS Conductor

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Meet Cohort 24-1!

We’re proud to officially announce Cohort 24-1 comprised of thirty-one climate technology companies. Each startup was selected based on climate impact, techno-economics, business model, and competitive landscape. Their technologies include clean ammonia, cool energy storage, novel methane detection, and more.