Calling all innovators! The Valley Ventures accelerator program is now accepting applications for its sixth cohort (VV6) in fall 2021. Each year, Fresno State’s Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center and the BlueTechValley (BTV) Innovation Cluster offer an opportunity for up to 10 ventures to participate in the accelerator, this year incorporating a new addition to the program—Valley Ventures advisory services. The fall 2021 cohort of the Valley Ventures accelerator will provide water, clean energy and agricultural technology ventures opportunities to advance commercialization and business development in California and beyond.


Sixty alumni of the Valley Ventures program have raised a total of $40M in private and public funding and have generated over $35M in sales since the program’s inception in 2017. WET Center staff will guide teams through the accelerator and advisory services programs with a focus on minimizing risk and maximizing impact both financially and for our communities. 


Ventures located in California, or those planning to commercialize and develop businesses in California, that provide technological solutions in water, clean energy and agriculture, are encouraged to apply. To apply for the Valley Ventures sixth cohort, click the below button to begin your application. 


Applications will be accepted through July 18, 2021. Selected ventures will be notified by August 12, 2021. The program will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 and end Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021. **


**There is no charge to apply to VV6. Selected ventures do not receive funding. The Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center does not take equity, however, we ask for an upfront fee of $1,500 per venture with $500 as a refundable deposit upon successful completion of the two-month accelerator that will combine in-person meetings in Fresno, California with virtual sessions. Each venture would be responsible for travel plans and costs to Fresno, California for in-person meetings this fall.**


To learn more about Valley Ventures, click here

Want a sneak peek as to how this year's accelerator will look? View our Fall 2020 agendas here

Advisory services

Valley Ventures is venturing into a new space—advisory services. 

After selected ventures complete the two-month Valley Ventures accelerator’s sixth cohort (VV6) this fall, companies will transition into the next phase of the program at no additional expense—the 10-month Valley Ventures advisory services program. The advisory services program is an individualized approach where ventures will work closely with WET Center staff to develop milestones related to growth and fundraising. While accomplishing these milestones, ventures will be paired with a variety of entrepreneurs and industry professionals who have either successfully grown their own startup or possess significant industry insight. This group of advisors has a broad range of expertise in California water-, energy- and ag-tech markets.


Over the entire 12 months, ventures that participate in the Valley Ventures program will work closely with the WET Center and its resources to achieve growth in revenue, market presence, product-market fit and fundraising success. to expand on these areas, see below bullet points to learn more. 


  • Product-Market Fit
    - Understand how your offerings change your customer’s operations for the better and how to quantify this as a communicable return on investment (ROI).
    - Set standards for pilots that show a clear understanding of your offerings’ value and design pilots to close on opportunities and to expedite adoption rates.
    - Work through any supply chain or development obstacles that are critical to the growth of a successful and impactful company.

  • Growth
    - Develop effective and focused sales processes that drive faster sales cycles with higher closing rates.
    - Experiment and implement prospecting strategies that increase sales-funnel efficiencies.
    - Align team for increased sales.

  • Fundraising
    - Implement financial practices that demonstrate and communicate your venture’s financial health.
    - Develop fundraising strategies that generate more relevant investors and strategic partners to your water, energy, or agricultural venture.
    - Receive guidance on non-dilutive funding options such as grants and strategic partnerships.

Meet the advisors

Dale Bierce, Founder and President of Sandler Training

Neil Knaak, Founder and CFO of Ag Proz

Waldo Moraga, President and CEO at ECO2MIX