About ACRE


What is ACRE?

ACRE is a critical AXIS for innovators to connect and develop new technologies essential to meet both city and state energy and environmental goals, as well as the demands of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

New York City has the largest commercial office market in the nation, consisting of 439.5M square feet (≈3.5 times larger than the next largest market) and among the highest electricity costs in the country. It also manages 12 million tons of trash per year and powers the most connected public transportation system in the country.

Responding to these challenges, New York City's utilities have made commitments to implement a plan for sustainable growth, evidenced by investments in new smart grid technology and initiatives such as PlaNYC 2030. These efforts create a strong market pull for Cleantech (technologies that drive renewable and energy efficiency upgrades) in NYC. When coupled with the fact that New York City is home to an enormous commercial office market and among the highest electricity costs in the country, the market for clean technologies that more efficiently manage energy usage should be larger in NYC than anywhere else in the United States.

ACRE and New York City

New York City has a history with innovative energy technologies, beginning with Pearl Street Station, the first central power plant in the United States built by Thomas Edison in lower Manhattan. With the continued success of ACRE, New York City is now positioning itself as the future of energy innovation in the US.

New York City stands to gain significantly by helping innovative startup technology companies that are able to address our most pressing energy and environmental needs. New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resilient Economy (NYC ACRE) helps clean technology and renewable energy companies in New York City grow, advancing the city as a role model for a low-carbon future while also creating jobs.  NYC ACRE is dedicated to growing an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, international companies, and innovative local businesses that provide solutions to climate and energy issues in NYC.

The opportunity we have to impact critical infrastructure by making it 'smarter' is unprecedented; marketing, design, art, engineering, and data science will all be required in this effort.  Using a global talent pool of university students and faculty in relevant disciplines, and connecting them to the existing tech community, NYC ACRE will help facilitate company creation, talent inclusion, and an increase in investment capital to power the next great phase of economic growth in New York.


"The New York City Accelerator for a Clean Resilient Economy shows how local action on climate change can spur private innovation and help cities become a model for environmental sustainability and economic recovery." 
– Michael Bloomberg, President of the Board of Directors, C40 Cities Climate Leadership

ACRE Leadership

Pat Sapinsley
Director of Cleantech Initiatives

Pat Sapinsley is the Managing Director of Cleantech Initiatives at Urban Future Lab, NYC ACRE and Powerbridge at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. The Urban Future Lab is home to the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resilient Economy, which has supported the city’s clean-energy and clean-tech entrepreneurs since 2009. NYC ACRE provides resources to start ups which focus on alternative energy and clean technology. This includes product or service offerings that have a clear linkage to a more sustainable urban environment, such as Smart Grid or Smart City innovations. PowerbridgeNY is a NYSERDA funded, clean energy proof of concept center. It is a collaborative effort of Columbia University, Brookhaven National Lab, Stony Brook University, Cornell NYCTech, CUNY and NYU Polytechnic SOE.

Michael Lightman
Program Manager, NYC ACRE and Clean Start
  • Responsible for identifying new ACRE companies and providing support for existing tenants
  • Manages the Clean Start program, a partnership with NYU CGA for young professionals interested in working in the clean tech sector
  • Prior experience in venture capital leading diligence teams on high tech startups
  • BS in Marketing from James Madison University; MBA from Simon Business School
  • Contact at michael.lightman@nyu.edu

ACRE Advisors

  • Maria_gotsch
    Maria Gotsch
    Pres. & CEO, NYCIF
  • Josh_wolfe
    Josh Wolfe
    MD, Lux Capital
  • Bill_lese
    Bill Lese
    Co-founder & MD, Braemar Energy Ventures
  • Arrun_kapoor
    Arrun Kapoor
    MD, SJF Ventures
  • Diana_propper
    Diana Propper
    General Partner, Expansion Capital
  • Ashok_gupta
    Ashok Gupta
    Director Energy Policy NRDC
  • Tokumbo_shobowale
    Tokumbo Shobowale
    Chief of Staff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development
  • Orin_herskowitz
    Orin Herskowitz
    VP of Intellectual Property & Tech Transfer for Columbia University, Executive Director of Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV)
  • Robert_catell
    Robert B. Catell
    Chairman, Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center (AERTC) SUNY Stony Brook
  • Andrew_bata
    Andrew Bata
    Chief Officer of Strategic Improvements & Best Practices for MTA New York City Transit
  • Guru_nadkarni
    Guru Nadkarni
    VP Strategic Planning & M&A, Con Edison
  • Michael_kruklinski
    Michael Kruklinski
    EVP, Head of Region Americas at Siemens
  • Sharon_nunes
    Sharon Nunes
    VP Smarter Cities, IBM

Acre Sponsors


ACRE Tenants

ACRE currently has 14 tenants. They span a number of sectors, including cleanweb, transportation, real estate, energy efficiency, lighting, finance, policy research, project consulting, uitlities, smart grid, and energy storage. Click a company below to learn more.

ACRE Graduates

ACRE is very proud of its 10 graduates, all of whom had great success while at ACRE, and continue to make valuable contributions to the new clean economy. Graduates span industries including renewables, energy efficiency, water, monitoring, and environmentally friendly products.

Applications for the Clean Start program will launch in the Fall of 2014. Until then, learn more about the Clean Start Program and sign up for our Clean Start e-newsletter.