Accesswire | May 15, 2023
Today, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²), a technology incubator funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), announced its seventh cycle of Channel Partner Strategic Awards. This year, IN² distributed $970,000 among seven winners to fund innovative and impactful projects that are intended to strengthen and diversify the cleantech and agtech ecosystems.
Winners received funding between $100,000 to $250,000. Applications were reviewed based on their potential for capacity building, with a particular focus on fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, or supporting pilot and demonstration projects for startups. Selections were guided by a commitment to distribute funds equally across the U.S.
"The IN² Channel Partner Network fosters meaningful connections and provides critical support to a diverse group of industry stakeholders," said Trish Cozart, IN² Program Manager at NREL. "Leveraging NREL's ability to bring people and resources together, the Channel Partner Awards aim to drive impact throughout the cleantech and agtech ecosystems to advance a sustainable future for all."
The 2023 Channel Partner Strategic Award winners are:
AgLaunch (Memphis, TN) will form a Cleantech Pilot & Demonstration Network for Underserved Communities to increase the participation of small and minority farmers in pilots and demonstration projects, who will receive equity in the company they support. They will also develop a similar approach for clean energy innovations in underserved markets in collaboration with the HBCU Clean Energy Initiative.
BRITE Energy Innovators (Warren, OH) and the Centrepolis Accelerator (Southfield, MI) will launch a joint program aimed at supporting underrepresented climate tech entrepreneurs in Ohio and Michigan by combining their core programs, increasing access, and helping underserved founders reach commercialization faster.
Evergreen Climate Innovations (Chicago, IL) will use the award to expand support for underrepresented founders in the climate tech space, focusing on solutions deployable in historically underserved communities, and offering assistance for pursuing pilot and demonstration opportunities in line with the White House's Justice40 Initiative.
Grid Catalyst (Minneapolis, MN) will use the funding to lead a demonstration cohort for energy and hardtech startups, matching them with Minnesota-based partners for pilot projects, and accelerating the process of initiating these projects within six months of the application process.
Launch Alaska (Anchorage, AK) will use the award to support and expand its Tech Deployment Track program, which aids climate tech startups and historically underserved legacy energy communities in Alaska in acquiring demonstration partners and funding, as well as increasing partner diversity and providing travel stipends for rural-based mentors.
Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) (Los Angeles, CA) will use the award to enhance its Impact Framework and Equity Earn Back program, which allows its portfolio companies (65% of which are owned by Black, Indigenous, and people of color) to earn back up to 50% of LACI's equity stake by improving environmental, social, and economic impacts.
Urban Future Lab (Brooklyn, NY) will use award funding to host events connecting climate tech startups, investors, and community-based organizations to accelerate pilot project deployments while promoting an equitable transition in the climate economy.
"The transition to a resilient, equitable, and sustainable future requires innovation in climate clean tech," said Robyn Luhning, chief sustainability officer at Wells Fargo. "The Wells Fargo Foundation is proud to support the diverse group of entrepreneurs who are innovating in this space with this year's Channel Partner Awards."
In addition to the Strategic Awards, IN² awarded $19,000 in Connector Awards in January 2023 and is planning to allocate another $16,000 this summer. Connector Awards support Channel Partner events and activities.
IN² launched the Channel Partner Strategic Awards program in 2017 to nurture the Channel Partner ecosystem, which includes more than 60 cleantech and agtech business incubators, accelerators, universities, and industry experts. Since its inception, the IN² Channel Partner Strategic Awards program has distributed more than $6 million, supporting 55 Strategic Awards and 174 Ecosystem or Connector Awards. The nationwide program engages thousands of entrepreneurs, students, investors, mentors, and industry experts. Startups supported by the program have raised $208 million, in addition to $5 million in matched program funding.
In 2021, IN² distributed $350,000 in Channel Partner Strategic Awards specifically to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in the cleantech industry. The funds delivered through IN2 supported six HBCUs as well as thousands of BIPOC people and organizations including 134 students, 70 farmers, 11 startups, six community partners, and 1,820 businesses.
During the COVID pandemic in 2020, the program provided $900,000 in relief awards. The awards supported 371 startups, generating over $19 million in revenue, 106 new jobs, 1,500 new customers, and $78 million in investments and other funding.
About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²)
The Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²) is a $50 million clean technology program funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). IN² identifies and supports promising cleantech startups, with the goal of commercializing low-carbon solutions in order to achieve the associated social, economic, and climate benefits that are so urgently required. The program aligns creative entrepreneurial solutions with robust resources in order to reduce emissions across the economy, with a focus on minimizing the energy impact of commercial buildings, affordable residential housing, and agriculture sectors. More specifically, IN² helps early- and mid-stage clean technology startups overcome common market barriers by delivering up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding in the form of research and development support from world-class scientists. Participants also gain access to lab facilities at NREL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, and connections to a robust, cross-industry network of foundations, investors and other stakeholders. For more information, visit www.IN²ecosystem.com.
Accesswire | April 24, 2023
Zift Solutions, a leading provider of Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) software, has announced a groundbreaking new role that unifies Zift's customer-facing teams by combining Professional Services, Customer Success, and Customer Support as the company expands its user community. Cosmo Mariano has joined the company in the new role of Chief Customer Officer.
Throughout his career, Mariano has held key positions in various industries, including serving as a management consultant for Caledon Consulting and as Customer Experience Design and Insight Director at the Royal Bank of Canada. As the founder and CEO of GetLift Agency, he established one of North America's leading B2B and channel management agencies. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Services for Uberflip Software. He has more than two decades of experience scaling and transforming technology companies for customer success in mainstream markets.
"We are thrilled to welcome Cosmo Mariano to the Zift Solutions team," said Gordon Rapkin, Chief Executive Officer. "His background in customer experience design and strategy will bring a fresh perspective to our customer journey and value delivery. Cosmo's role, and the unity of a Customer Operations Team, is just one piece of our continuous commitment to serving ZiftONE customers."
"I could not be more excited to be joining Zift," Cosmo Mariano added. "As Chief Customer Officer, I look forward to applying my wide range of knowledge and experience to the ZiftONE user base as we continue to prioritize customer delight."
Mariano's initiatives have consistently delivered impressive results, increasing value for customers, employees, and stakeholders by focusing on outcomes. His leadership skills have led to accelerated transformation and exceptional project success rates. A lifelong learner, Mariano continually enhances his skills through various professional programs, like the Stanford Corporate Innovation Program, Product-Led Growth, and IDEO business design.
About Zift Solutions
Founded in 2006, Zift Solutions is the only Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) tool built as one to work as one. The company's ZiftONE platform manages the flow from onboarding to enablement, lead generation to marketing, all the way through sales. Backed by the most experienced team in the industry and fueled by the recent $70M capital investment by Investcorp, Zift has been named the only leader in both Channel Marketing Automation and Partner Relationship Management by Forrester Research and a market leader in Partner Management Software and Through-Channel Marketing Software by G2. For more information, visit www.ziftsolutions.com.
Business Wire | March 31, 2023
Tufin®, the leader in network security policy management and continuous compliance automation, today announced that it has been recognized by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, in its 2023 Partner Program Guide. This annual guide offers essential information to members of the IT channel ecosystem as they explore technology manufacturers’ partner programs to find the vendors that will best support their business needs.
“We are proud that Tufin is a channel-first company, and we recognize that our channel partners are the best way for us to amplify our message that security policy automation is a strategic advantage for our customers,” said Jeff Wilmot, CRO at Tufin. “I want to thank CRN for this honor and congratulate our channel team and Tufin’s partner network across the globe. You are the reason Tufin continues to be the leader in network security policy automation.”
Tufin’s channel partner program is multi-tiered, partnering with distributors and a two-level reseller program of Gold and Authorized partners. A variety of benefits designed to promote and enhance partners’ skills, facilitate business growth, and maximize profitability are offered. Each tier has a specific business focus and offers uniquely developed benefits, as well as joint sales, marketing, and certification requirements. The tiered structure allows partners to grow their business with Tufin, while expanding their offerings to meet emerging market needs. For more information on becoming a Tufin partner, click here.
“As a partner-first company, we focus our marketing efforts on building programs and tools that are aligned with channel program industry best practices. We collaborate closely with our partners worldwide to drive pipeline generation activities and prioritize investing in knowledge sharing and enablement initiatives,” said Orli Amir, Head of Channel Marketing, Tufin. “Looking ahead to 2023, several new programs and offers that will provide immense value to our channel are scheduled to be announced. This is a great time to be a Tufin partner.”
For solution providers such as managed service providers (MSPs), value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, and strategic service providers, a critical factor when assessing which IT manufacturers, service providers, and distributors to team with in building world-class technology solutions is the breadth and depth of the partner programs those companies offer. Strong elements such as financial incentives, sales and marketing assistance, training and certification, technical support and more can set a vendor apart and play a key role in boosting partners’ long-term growth.
In the 2023 Partner Program Guide, vendors were evaluated based on program requirements and offerings such as partner training and education, pre- and post-sales support, marketing programs and resources, technical support, and communication.
“In today’s world, the need for innovation is greater than ever,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “Solution providers seek vendors that can keep pace with their developing business and evolving client needs. CRN’s 2023 Partner Program Guide delivers deep insight into the strengths of each program, spotlighting the vendors dedicated to supporting their partner community and pushing positive change throughout the IT channel.”
The 2023 Partner Program Guide will be featured in the April 2023 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/PPG.
Tufin is the leader in network security policy management and continuous compliance automation. The platform centralizes, automates and orchestrates network and cloud access for many of the largest organizations in the world. Over 2,900 enterprises have trusted Tufin to implement accurate network changes in minutes instead of days, accelerate secure application deployments, and virtually eliminate manual tasks. A vendor-agnostic solution designed to integrate network and cloud security processes, Tufin is the answer to balancing security and business agility. Find out more at www.tufin.com.
About The Channel Company
The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by nearly 40 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. www.thechannelcompany.com.