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eLab Accelerator: A Bootcamp for Electricity Innovation

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From April 18th to 21st of 2017, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) will convene the fourth annual Electricity Innovation Lab (eLab) Accelerator event. This invitation-only, four-day working meeting brings together teams throughout North America that are working on high impact and innovative projects at the electricity system’s distribution edge. The purpose of the workshop is to take these projects to the next level through structured sessions designed to rapidly accelerate progress. This is accomplished by immersing participating teams in eLab’s collaborative approaches and subject-matter expertise that has a proven track record of delivering transformative change in the electricity sector.  


Applications for Accelerator 2017 are currently closed. The Accelerator 2017 is application is available here for reference. Applications for Accelerator 2018 will open in October 2017.


At eLab Accelerator, RMI staff, Reos Partners, and eLab faculty provide customized content, training, and tailored feedback to each team’s unique project. Specifically, Accelerator will give teams:

  • A structured working session to make progress on their project or initiative
  • A rich learning experience featuring experts on the latest thinking around new utility business models and distributed resources in the electricity sector
  • Tools and training to conceptualize problems in collaborative and innovative ways
  • New alliances to form a broader support network with other teams working on similar projects
  • A unique environment conducive to creativity and breakthrough ideas
  • More information about eLab Accelerator faculty is available on the Faculty page.


Accelerator teams comprise ~6 people representing multiple project stakeholders and partners. Successful teams bring together the right combination of vision, experience, knowledge, and commitment to a project that can accelerate change on the electricity system. A team’s project must be actively under development, although it may range from an idea just being nucleated to a project well under way.

More information about eLab Accelerator projects and teams from the last three years is available on the Teams page.


Hear from past eLab Accelerator teams

“Rocky Mountain Institute's eLab Accelerator was a transformational experience for our project team. We hoped to clarify our vision, gain language and tools to help us communicate that vision, and establish a 1-2 year work plan to turn that vision into a reality. By the end of the week we had accomplished those goals, but we gained much more. The Accelerator is certainly a highlight of the past year. I expect it will be one of the best experiences of a career.”

-- Chris Ball, Energy Efficiency Director, City of Bloomfield (IA)

“eLab allowed me to pause, step back and view my work through an objective lens. My team offered the perspective needed to question underlying assumptions and translate the "start-up phase chaos" into concrete problem statements and our facilitator enabled each of us to apply our unique skill set and harmonize around concrete solutions to those problems. eLab is the most exciting thing I've ever had the opportunity to participate in as an entrepreneur.”

-- Katie Bray, Program Director, Clean Energy For Us

“What was great about eLab Accelerator was being with representatives from Idaho Power and Sun Valley Company, and being able to understand better the issues of the other parties involved...It was extremely effective in pushing us and helping us open up to the ideas of others in the group and we were able to come up with some commonalities.”

-- Rebecca Bundy, Senior Planner for the City of Ketchum (ID)

“eLab Accelerator was the perfect chance to bring all the parties together with the same set of facts and to explore the resilience plan together,” says Christensen. “It helped us make sure we were all on the same page.”

-- Aimée Christensen, founder and CEO of Christensen Global Strategies

“At eLab, we took a concept and truly came up with a full plan. We fine-tuned how we would implement a pilot project, and how we would work with stakeholders, customers, and policy makers.”

-- Jeff Bishop, CFO of Seattle City Light.

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