Research Opportunities

Climate Tech Venture Fellowships

In partnership with the Energy Club at the Ross School of Business and the Clean Energy Trust, the University of Michigan Energy Institute is excited to announce the Climate Tech Venture Fellowships. This program aims both to accelerate the focus for investors on climate technology and to encourage students to explore how venture capital efforts catalyze innovation at the intersection of climate technology, clean energy, sustainability and entrepreneurship.  

A Climate Tech Venture Fellowship will provide students with opportunities for hands-on, real-world experience. By partnering with venture capital funds, the fellowship program helps to support and direct capital to the climate-related entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Program Description

The Climate Tech Venture Fellowship will allow selected graduate students to work with a venture capital firm. The nature of a fellow’s work will be determined by the host firm and agreed upon by the fellow. Examples may include market research, deal sourcing, due diligence and portfolio company support. The program is administered by the Energy Club at Ross and the University of Michigan Energy Institute. 

Commitment and Timing: Fellows will be expected to commit 8 hours per week for a period of 10-12 weeks. In their applications, students should indicate whether they prefer the Fall or Winter Semester. Specific dates will be agreed upon by the respective firm and the fellow. See below for information on the application process. 

Funding: Each fellow will be granted a stipend of $1,250 for the duration of their fellowship. 

Venture Capital Fund Partners: Fellows will be placed at the following firms: 

  • Clean Energy Trust: Clean Energy Trust invests in the entrepreneurs leading the clean technology revolution and works to demonstrate that investing in and supporting early-stage cleantech innovation can yield financial returns and positive impact. To date, they have invested in 31 companies across the Midwest. 
  • Congruent Ventures: Congruent Ventures partners with entrepreneurs to build companies addressing sustainability challenges and invests early across hardware, software, enterprise, consumer, deep technology, fin-tech, and business model innovation. Focus sectors include mobility and urbanization, the energy transition, food and agriculture, and sustainable production and consumption. 
  • Buoyant Ventures: Buoyant Ventures is a recently founded, female-led, early-stage venture fund investing in digital solutions for climate risk. These investments focus on the energy, mobility, agriculture and built environment sectors. Buoyant looks for entrepreneurs that are customer-focused, digitally native, capital-efficient, and diverse.
  • Mazarine Ventures: Mazarine Ventures is an early-stage investment group focused on high-growth technology companies addressing challenges in water and wastewater. Their portfolio of companies innovate in chemistry, data science, material science, and microbiology, and have commercially-proven offerings that create value for owners and/or operators in the built environment, industry, and utilities. 

Application Process

Graduate students at the University of Michigan, including but not limited to, the Ross School of Business, the School for Environment and Sustainability, the Law School and the College of Engineering, are eligible to apply. International students will need Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization to participate.

Students may apply during an application period that opens in August before the academic year. Applications are accepted for fellowships that can take place during either the Fall or Winter term depending on the host firm’s needs and a fellow’s qualifications. Interviews will be conducted primarily by the venture capital firms themselves.

The 2020-21 application period was August 3-24, 2020, and is now closed.

For questions, please contact Eva Zenilman of the Ross Energy Club, ezenilma@umich.edu.