Great Lakes Clean Energy and Mobility Accelerator Program

Seeking entrepreneurs, funders, mentors, and ecosystem supporters in the Great Lakes Region

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Ascend Energy & Mobility Accelerator, powered by VentureWell, TechTown Detroit, and DOE’s EPIC Prize.

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We want your voice to shape our energy & mobility accelerator program!

  • Are you an entrepreneur trained in lean startup methodology who is developing an energy or mobility solution?
  • Do you work with startups in the energy and mobility sector as a mentor, investor, or support partner?
  • Are you located in the Great Lakes region?
  • Are you motivated by the question “How do we make entrepreneurs successful?”

We want to hear from you! Click here to sign up for a 30-minute interview call with VentureWell staff!

We are partnering with entrepreneurship hub TechTown Detroit to design a new energy- and mobility-focused accelerator program that aims to help entrepreneurs bridge the gap between customer discovery and commercial launch. Over the past 27 years of observing what’s needed to support startups in launching their product—and what gaps still exist at the investment-readiness stage—we’ve developed some key hypotheses, and we’d like to test them out with your help.

Just like we teach our entrepreneurs, we are setting out to do our own customer discovery by talking to the stakeholders who are already doing the hard work, with the goal of using that valuable feedback to shape an impactful program, and, ultimately, position the Great Lakes Region at the center of America’s clean energy future.

We want to hear from each and every one of you. Please take a moment to fill out the inquiry form to indicate your interest and sign up for a customer discovery interview with VentureWell’s Early-Stage Innovator Program team. 

Not quite sure you fit the above criteria, but still want to stay engaged or share your experience? We encourage you to sign up to share your helpful insights.

Regional Advisory Committee


Tu Le, Managing Director, Sino Auto Insights
Tu is a globally-recognized subject matter expert in the EV/AV and mobility sectors, working for automotive and tech companies including GM, Ford, Apple, and Logitech. He is a Managing Director at Sino Auto Insights, a management consultancy in the mobility sector, co-host of the weekly “China EVs & More” podcast, co-organizer of the annual MOBILIT/E Conference, and author of the SAI Newsletter, a weekly round-up of the latest news coming out of the EV/AV and mobility space.


Alisyn Malek, Mentor-in-Residence, University of Michigan Tech Transfer Office; Founder, Middle Third
Alisyn is a mobility expert and the Managing Director of Newlab in Detroit. She’s had a pretty exciting journey thus far including from EV product development, corporate venture and strategy at General Motors, to co-founding May Mobility (and raising >$100M in venture and corporate financing). Alisyn is passionate about the intersection of mobility and energy and supporting mobility startups in Southeast Michigan, including being an active member of Commune Angels.


Clay Phillips, Mobility Technology Lead, Michigan Small Business Development Center
Clay is an executive in the fields of open innovation, intelligence, business development, and strategy. He has worked in the automotive, mobility, energy, materials, and specialty chemicals industries and beyond. Currently, he supports Michigan’s entrepreneur ecosystem and advises early-stage startups in the mobility sector. He has been a mentor for TechStars, Plug and Play, and other mobility-focused accelerator programs. Clay is a former executive at General Motors and is a founding member and VP of GM’s corporate venture capital arm, GM Ventures. 


Sherelle Streeter, Senior Mobility Strategist,
Office of Mobility Strategy, City of Detroit
Sherelle is a Senior Mobility Strategist at the City of Detroit’s Office of Mobility Innovation.  She primarily leads OMI’s micro-mobility and active transportation efforts, including managing Detroit’s E-Scooter Program. Sherelle is passionate about removing barriers to innovation and assisting startup companies looking to enter the market. She has a background in environmental science and urban and regional planning, and has previously worked for WSP as a Transportation Planner, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and the University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI).

This effort is supported by the Department of Energy’s EPIC competition and in partnership with TechTown Detroit.

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