About the Program
NYSERDA recognizes a need for executive level mentoring and management advice for start-up, seed, and early-stage clean energy companies in New York State to help them gain viability, grow their business, and create revenue and jobs. Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) programs are an effective means to provide a broad range of high-level advice and assistance to early-stage companies to enable their growth.

As such, NYSERDA offers the NYSERDA Entrepreneurs-In-Residence program, facilitated and managed by High Tech Rochester (HTR), to companies that receive NYSERDA funding and participate in other NYSERDA programs.

HTR is a non-profit economic development organization with a long history of entrepreneurial experience driving growth of high tech startups in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. This includes the management of two business incubators, a regional Technology Commercialization program, and its own EIR program, which it has been running since 2004.

What is the goal of the program?
The goal of the NYSERDA EIR program is to support NYSERDA associated early-stage companies through specific projects and/or mentoring and strategic advice, managed by an experienced EIR. The outcome of these engagements should be demonstrated progress in achieving milestones that ultimately will lead to revenue and job growth.

How does the program work?
NYSERDA identifies a company that could benefit from executive level assistance and approves its involvement in the EIR program. Once approved, HTR works with the company to understand its specific needs, then provides a pool of qualified EIRs to select from based on those needs. The engagement is project-driven and therefore has a predetermined timeline with project- appropriate milestones generated by the company and the EIR, and approved by HTR and the project’s NYSERDA sponsor (NYSERDA Incubator Manager or NYSERDA Project Manager). Companies may receive assistance under this program in the following areas, including but not limited to:

Business plan development

Business plan/investor presentations

Strategic plan development

Sales and marketing strategy development

Staffing strategies for growth and resource planning

Budget and financial strategy

Strategic partnering, acquisitions

Strategy for seeking additional financing/funding sources

Strategic operations planning

IP strategy

Board composition and management

How do companies participate in the program?
If a company that has NYSERDA funding, or is participating in a NYSERDA program, is interested in participating in the EIR program, contact your NYSERDA Project Manager to inquire about being approved for participation. Alternatively, you may contact the NYSERDA EIR Program Director, Doreen Kula.

How do I become an EIR?
Ideal EIRs are experienced executive level managers who have been involved in technology-based enterprises, preferably startups, with the ability to share previous experiences, skills, and acquired knowledge appropriately through a mentoring relationship with a client.

There are currently more than 50 qualified EIRs in the program, all selected for their skill sets, expertise, and ability to mentor startups. If you are interested or know someone who has the right qualifications to become an EIR, contact Doreen Kula.


Doreen Kula
NYSERDA EIR Program Director