UNLV awarded EDA Build to Scale grant for GOED-inspired Renewable Energy Cluster Development Project

Accelerate Electric Nevada program will further strengthen Nevada’s TechHub and NSF-Engine efforts


Contact: Gregory Bortolin,
Director of Communications
grbortolin@goed.nv.gov (775) 687-9917



November 14, 2023



CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Economic Development Administration awarded $749,037 with a $750,000 local match to the Accelerate Electric Nevada project in response to the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)’s five-Year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, calling for an “Electric, Innovative, and Connected” Nevada.

The awarded project will be led by The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), and partners with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority (NNRDA), gener8tor, and GOED in a public-private economic development partnership featuring state-wide collaboration.

“Our state’s journey towards an Electric Nevada is gathering momentum with this EDA Build to Scale Venture Challenge Award,” said Karsten Heise, GOED Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Innovation. “This will further strengthen and give additional momentum to our EDA TechHub and NSF Engine projects. I would also like to thank the EDA for recognizing Nevada’s potential and contribution in this technology field that is crucial to our nation’s competitiveness and national security. Nevada’s Congressional Delegation deserves credit for their invaluable support.”

GOED’s administered Knowledge Fund is providing matching funds for this project. Furthermore, this effort builds on existing GOED-originated accelerators such as gener8tor adding specific “lithium closed loop” and renewable energy technology-focused accelerators in both northern and southern Nevada.

This project’s vision is to support and strengthening the growth of Nevada’s regional lithium batteries and other electric vehicle materials loop technology clusters in both southern and northern Nevada that allow high-growth technology and promising renewable energy and storage startups to connect with investors, mentors, and industry experts. This strategy includes establishing a testbed for new tech, clean energy ecosystems and start-up entrepreneurship ecosystems. Accelerate Electric Nevada seeks to close existing gaps, such as early-stage deal-flow and capital attraction, by supercharging attraction and formation of spinouts and startups in all parts of the state. Capital will be provided to eligible spinouts and startups via the GOED-overseen state venture capital program Battle Born Growth. These technology-focused accelerators will further strengthen the emerging “closed lithium loop” and energy storage and advanced materials cluster initiatives led by UNR, such as the National Science Foundation’s Engines’ Type 1 Development Award and the EDA TechHub Designation award.

The EDA also extended a Build to Scale Capital Challenge award to UNLV to support the Scarlet Venture Fund. The fund will provide investments ranging from $25,000 to $1 million to selected startups. It will focus on diversifying the state’s economy through support of high-tech innovations and technologies commercialized from university spinouts. GOED will also be supporting this project through its state-sponsored venture capital program by acting as co-investor in eligible investments.

“With this double EDA award, Nevada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem momentum-building is being substantially reinforced, and the state’s progress in startups and spinouts is recognized,” said Zach Miles Senior Associate Vice president for Economic Development at UNLV and Executive Director of the UNLV Research Foundation. “Nevada’s anchor Research One institutions UNLV and UNR through technology-focused accelerators and newly formed risk capital vehicles will considerably strengthen the build out of Nevada’s regional innovation systems which are vital for our state’s global technological competitiveness and economic growth.”


“This award marks a significant leap in enhancing Nevada’s entrepreneurial infrastructure,” said Doug Erwin, Senior Vice President for EDAWN. “By aligning our statewide economic development efforts in partnership with gener8tor, we aim to cultivate young companies and commercialize university technologies particularly in the clean tech sector.”




About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.


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