• Elemental Navigator

    Curated access to climate technology for corporations, investors and industry partners

Funding Opportunities

Project Track

Applications for the 2024 investment cycle are currently closed. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified of future funding opportunities.

Why Project Track

We support high-impact companies with commercial project deployments. To help companies reach the next stage of their commercial journeys, the Project Track is designed to be flexible with funding to help buy down the risk of trying something new. The Project Track may be leveraged to fund a new product offering, a new business model, a new customer segment, a geographic expansion, or development costs associated with an infrastructure project.
Elemental designs community engagement into the plan of every project deployment and offers coaching on community engagement and workforce development. The most compelling projects are designed with Elemental’s Square Partnerships model in mind.

$1M – $3M of funding and tailored support, including expert coaching, to deploy a commercial project in any global market


How have our companies leveraged the Project Track for growth?

Tara Pham Headshot
Tara Pham Numina CEO

"It’s hard to quantify the credibility that being an Elemental portfolio company gives us to other investors, hires, customers, and our peers. That vote of confidence was more than just a little encouragement. Elemental's initial funding, plus a [follow-on convertible note], plus customers we've met through its events have turned us into an operationally profitable company."

Rob Bartrop SOURCE Global CRO

"Elemental's project track has been completely transformative - 12 months with Elemental has given us 3–5 years of progress."

Dollaride CEO Su Sanni
Su Sanni Dollaride CEO

"A lot of the work that we’re doing is affecting people’s real lives but you need resources and partnerships to create systemic change. Elemental gave us the reinforcement and support around that model and it gave us a lot of confidence that we could do this and replicate it."

Cameron Knox Headshot
Cameron Knox Allume Energy CEO

"We continue to be humbled by the quality of people within the Elemental team and network. It is truly an incredible bunch of passionate, highly capable and highly connected climate tech leaders. Being a member of this community has supercharged our global expansion efforts."

Ethan Cohen-Cole
Ethan Cohen-Cole Capture 6 CEO & Co-Founder

“Elemental’s Project Track funding enabled significant acceleration of our work and they have subsequently offered follow up funding, via the Scale Up Prize, to a core project that amplified our ability to pull in additional capital.”

Tim Latimer Fervo Energy CEO & Co-Founder

"The Project Track has been instrumental in developing our supplier diversity program and thinking through future community engagement."

Our Work In Action

Community-based organizations, leaders and nonprofits are uniquely positioned to help design projects in a way that reflects the values and culture of their communities. Through deploying over 100 climate tech projects in more than 30 countries, we learned that this strengthens a project’s impact on startups, their customers and the communities where projects are being deployed.

A new model for more equitable project deployment

Elemental’s Square Partnerships model is built upon the conviction that innovation succeeds best when it engages the community early and often. You are encouraged to collaborate with three key stakeholders from design to implementation: customers, community-based organizations and investors / funders. We have developed a toolkit to help you implement this new model that includes case studies from Elemental portfolio companies that have used this model for their Project Track deployments.

Learn more about Elemental’s Square Partnerships model



Case Studies

Forum Mobility

Forum Mobility is decarbonizing the heavy trucking industry's movement of goods in and out of ports by electrifying the drayage industry. With Elemental’s support through the Project Track, Forum is building an integrated electric truck charging station at the Port of Long Beach — the busiest port in America — while collaborating with the Harbor Trucking Association to establish the area’s first community charging depot. About 39 million people in the U.S. live within three miles of a port, a high percentage being low-income and minority populations who are often disproportionately impacted by higher levels of diesel emissions. Through its work, Forum is both decarbonizing heavy trucking and taking the burden of diesel pollution off frontline communities.

Explore more projects

Track Timeline

Applications open

April 10, 2024

Applications for all tracks are open and will be reviewed as they come in. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

Applications close

May 31, 2024

This is the final deadline to submit an application for Project Track for Cohort 13.

Submit additional materials

June – July 2024

Select applicants will be invited to share more about their technology, business and strategy for scaling impact. We will also spend time getting to know their customers, investors and community partners.

Interviews & reference calls

July – August 2024

Select applicants will be invited to interview with Elemental to better understand their company and proposed project. As we progress through the due diligence process, we will spend time getting to know customers, investors, and community partners that you have previously worked with.

Final selection

September 2024

Cohort offers will be made all at once. Following program acceptance, companies will become acquainted with Elemental’s team, systems and services. Project Track companies will work to finalize their Scope of Work and kick off their projects.

Cohort Kickoff and CEO & Leadership Summit

February 2025

Cohort 13 companies will spend time in person getting to know the Elemental team, fellow cohort members and our partners through workshops and facilitated discussions. Then, we'll be joined by other alumni CEOs and leaders from the Elemental portfolio to share knowledge and connect.

Project execution and closeout

Approximately 16 months after project launch

The Not-So-Fine Print | Funding & Equity

Each company selected into our Cohort 13 Project Track receives $1M – $3M. We typically use either a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) or convertible notes (see FAQ for more). Additionally, as Elemental is constantly looking to fill gaps in the market, we may provide more funding options in the future.

Funding is tied to agreed-upon milestones, meaning companies do not get the full investment up front, but tranches are released as deliverables are complete. It is our intention that companies allocate a portion of this funding to pay community-based partners for their contributions toward the project’s success.



In past years, Project Track companies have met the following average criteria:

$9.5M total funding raised
$1.6 M annual revenue
17 full-time employees
1+ commercial-scale deployment(s)





How do I know if I'm a fit for Project Track?

The Project Track is designed for Series A+ companies, looking to deploy a commercial project. Successful companies are able to design and implement a multiphase project with a commercial customer and have a dedicated project manager responsible for the success of the project.



Can you provide more information on the funding instruments you use?

As a nonprofit organization, any proceeds from our investments go to supporting future climate technology entrepreneurs. For project and strategy track companies, we use either a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), convertible note, or in some cases may be able to participate directly in an open round. We are also actively piloting new funding instruments.

Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE):

Y Combinator created the SAFE as a simpler alternative to convertible notes. It allows investors to purchase shares in a future round at a pre-negotiated discount (industry standard is 20%). We like this investment vehicle because it is founder-friendly and flexible, allowing us to work with companies outside of their usual fundraising cycles. Accepted companies will execute three separate SAFEs with Elemental, each aligned with program milestone deliverables and payment amounts.

Convertible Note:

In some cases, we will use a convertible note. This flexibility allows later-stage companies to choose the right instrument for their needs. We can share more information about the commercial terms of our convertible note at an appropriate time in the application process. Accepted companies will execute multiple notes with Elemental, each aligned with program milestone deliverables and payment amounts.

Direct Investments:

In some instances, Elemental will directly participate in an open round if the timing aligns with completion of the milestones deliverables. In addition, as Elemental is constantly looking to fill financial and programmatic gaps, we may offer other funding mechanisms in the future. We will work closely with accepted companies to find a path that makes sense for both parties.



How does Elemental define low-income and disadvantaged communities (LIDAC) and frontline communities?

At Elemental, we prioritize equitable projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities (LIDAC) and frontline communities.

United States

For projects in the U.S., we use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund definition of low-income and disadvantaged communities. LIDACs, as defined by the EPA, meet one or more of the following four categories: (1) communities identified as disadvantaged by the CEJST mapping tool; (2) a limited number of additional communities identified as disadvantaged by the EJScreen mapping tool; (3) geographically dispersed low-income households; and (4) properties providing affordable housing.


We expect companies working or looking to work in countries outside of the U.S. to adapt Elemental’s frameworks for approaching projects and to research, explore, and seek out local feedback on the appropriate definitions and tools for the geography they aim to deploy in. Generally speaking, we define frontline communities as those striving to become more resilient to the near-term and immediate climate threats they face and who have been systematically overburdened and underserved. These communities face unjust exposure to the impacts of climate change due to a legacy of systemic, largely racialized, inequity that influences their living and working places, their quality of air and water, and their economic opportunities. Frontline communities often include people of color, immigrants, people with lower incomes, those in rural areas, and Indigenous people.



Where does Elemental deploy projects?

While projects can be deployed in any geographic market, each year the majority of projects are based in the U.S.



How does Elemental decide how much funding to award Project Track applicants?

Project Track applicants are eligible to receive between $1M – $3M USD. Each Project Track applicant is evaluated on a variety of factors, including project funding requirements, GHG reduction potential, community impact, and more. The size of funding awarded will be evaluated on a project-by-project basis. Companies that pass the first round of diligence will be invited to present additional material for the team to determine funding award amounts.



Can I apply to both tracks? Can I switch which track I'm applying to during the application process?

We ask companies to identify the best track based on needs. In the application, companies interested in applying for the Project Track will be asked to submit details about their proposed project, including project description and ideal outcome, budget, timeline, project partners and the status of commitment to the project. In some cases after application submission, we may advise switching to a better fitting track depending on the company stage and goals.



How does Elemental work with communities to deploy technologies?

Technology, policy, and markets intersect in different ways around the world and we know that community-based organizations, leaders and nonprofits are uniquely positioned to design projects in a way that reflect the values and culture of their community.

Aligned with Elemental’s Square Partnership model, the strongest project proposals include a strategy to engage with and compensate community-based partners. More often than not, local community organizations are asked to volunteer their time without the expectation of compensation. This well-accepted norm has led to underinvestment in community-based organizations. Similar to how you would procure and hire a project consultant, fair compensation for community partners acknowledges the significant contributions they make to a project’s success.

Learn more about how Elemental works with communities through Elemental’s Square Partnership toolkit.



Can I apply with a project that is already in progress?

We want our funding to go toward something that will be net new for the company. Often, companies apply for our funding to unlock something new for the business or accelerate the launch of something like a new product offering, a new business model, a new customer segment, and/or a geographic expansion. In other cases, our Project Track funding is used for something critical and additive to an ongoing project, such as funding development costs for permitting, engineering, or community engagement. Successful applicants will be able to articulate the additionality of Elemental funding.



Tell me more about project cost share. Is this required?

Project funding is used to help buy down deployment risk. This means we do not pay for the whole project, but rather, we will structure deployments under a cost-share or co-investment model. Applicants are asked to find a customer or partner to fund a significant portion of the project, typically 50% or more.

Cost share, or partner/customer contributions to the project, is how Elemental evaluates market-pull for solutions. Our strong preference is for cost share to come in the form of cash from customers or capital providers like project financiers, investors, or government entities. We will recognize in-kind cost share in special circumstances including labor from customers, discounted equipment/leases, and other contributions to the project.

In light of an ever-evolving financing landscape, we will also work with you to facilitate introductions to pertinent public and private capital partners, who may have a focus on either the specific climate segment and/or provide capital solutions that best match the stage of a project’s maturity and its needs as you work to scale the financial viability of your commercial offering.