Start your entrepreneurial journey with WICEF

The Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship (WICEF) helps ambitious women launch epic clean energy and climate tech startups. Over a three month period, you'll gain the skills, know-how and network to take the first steps in entrepreneurship. You'll gain access to weekly workshops and presentations, mentoring and support from a diverse group of entrepreneurs, industry experts and changemakers to support you on your journey.

Program timing for 2024

  • Applications Open: 1 - 31 July 2024
  • Interviews: 5 - 16 August 2024
  • Program Runs: 1 September 2024 - 8 December 2023

Meet some of our alumni

Alina Dini, CEO and Founder, Whirl

Alina Dini, CEO and Founder, Whirl

Annalise Kerr, Sustainability and Resilience Consultant, AECOM

Annalise Kerr, Sustainability and Resilience Consultant, AECOM

Rio Richardson, MBA @ MIT Sloan

Rio Richardson, MBA @ MIT Sloan

Rosetta Mills, Experience Design Lead, Origin Energy

Rosetta Mills, Experience Design Lead, Origin Energy

Iyari Cevallos, Director, Drennan&Co Partners

Iyari Cevallos, Director, Drennan&Co Partners

Jun (Rossie) Rao, Associate Research Fellow, Deakin University

Jun (Rossie) Rao, Associate Research Fellow, Deakin University

Kate Hough, Co-founder/Project Manager, IN SITU

Kate Hough, Co-founder/Project Manager, IN SITU

Kate Osaze, Grid Connections Manager, ESCO Pacific

Kate Osaze, Grid Connections Manager, ESCO Pacific

Monishka Narayan, Consultant, Advisian

Monishka Narayan, Consultant, Advisian

Sanne Weekers, Senior Business Development Manager, Photon Energy Group

Sanne Weekers, Senior Business Development Manager, Photon Energy Group

Utkarshaa Varshney, Co-Program Leader, UNSW

Utkarshaa Varshney, Co-Program Leader, UNSW

Zoe Parkin, Senior Investment Associate, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Zoe Parkin, Senior Investment Associate, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Program benefits

Learn the foundations of entrepreneruship

What does it take to start a startup? We'll cover topics such as ideation, customer validation, how to pitch and gain investment and strategies for resilience and fearless leadership.

Be inspired by other women founders

Learn from those who have gone before you. Successful entrepreneurs will share their founding stories, challenges they've faced and other advice and insights from the arena!

Build a solid support network

Surround yourself with people who'll cheer you on! Build a strong tight-knit community of fellow female founders, experts and mentors.

Thrive with dedicated mentorship

The program is supported by a group of dedicated mentors. You'll have opportunities to connect with EnergyLab's mentor network during the program.

Gain support from an experienced team

EnergyLab has supported more clean energy and climate tech founders than anyone else in Australia. During the program, you will receive one-on-one support from the WICEF Program Lead, and touch base with our team.

Pitch to climatetech investors

At the end of the program, you will have the opportunity to showcase your startup progress to program mentors and climatetech investors and gather support to get you to the next stage.

Have the confidence to take the leap!

It's our mission to set you up for success. At the end of the fellowship, you'll have the knowledge, skills and support to take the leap and start your own thing.

Program mentors and presenters

Advice and support from successful entrepreneurs, investors and sector experts

Alex Houlston

Director and Co-Founder, BOOMPower

Alex McIntosh

Business Development and Transactions, ARENA

Alina Dini

CEO and Founder, Whirl

Andy Hill

Principal, Greenblue Consulting

Assem Ongarbayeva

Chief Strategy Officer, UPowr

Ben Hutt

CEO and Managing Director, Evergen

Bryan Rollins

Operator in Residence, Grok Ventures

Cam Taylor

Product Development, Simply Energy

Camille Socquet-Clerc

Founder and CEO, Bloom Impact Investing

Carola Jonas

CEO and Founder, Everty

Chris Thompson

Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Amber Electric

Daniella Aburto Valle

Head of Business Consulting and Advisory Partnerships, Amazon ANZ

Darryn Pinto

CEO and Founder, Waste Ninja

Dennis Silvers

Managing Director, Prestige Business Consulting

Emma Jenkin

Investment Director, Kilara Capital

Gabby Lee-Sinclair

Senior Commercial Manager, KPMG High Growth Ventures

Gloria Chan

Executive Director, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Jenni Deslandes

Strategic Advisor and Director

Jodie Hallam

General Manager Operations & Delivery Solutions, Greater Western Water

Katie Higgins

Startup Lawyer and Advisor, LUNA

Kim Lawrence

Advisory Panel, ARENA

Megan Fisher

CEO, EnergyLab

Kristin Vaughan

Director, Innovation Fund, CEFC

Kristy Battista

CTO, Allume Energy

Lucinda Hankin

Director of Private Investments, Grok Ventures

Marteen Burger

Co-Founder and Director, Jaunt Motors

Matt Stubbs

Director, Profergy

Melissa Chan

Investor, Family Office

Patrick Matweew

CEO, Redback Technologies

Patty Akopiantz

Co-Founder and Climate Investor, Assembly Climate Capital

Peter Lightbody

Special Counsel, FCW Lawyers

Renate Egan

Chair and Co-Founder, Solar Analytics

Solai Valliappan

Tech Investor, Tiger Financial Group

Steve Toomey

Managing Director, Creating Value Group

Stuart Allinson

Chair, Pontem Solutions

Terry Woodcroft

CEO and Co-Founder, Aurtra

Wendy Kozica

Investor, Scale Investors

Zivit Inbar

CEO and Founder, DifferenThinking

Zoe von Batenburg

Business Development and Transactions, ARENA

Program outline

Three 4-week modules to help you succeed

Module 1 - Ideate

Week 1 - 4

- Meet the cohort, get to know each other, set goals and unpack what it means to be an entrepreneur

- Learn about emerging climate and energy solutions, sector trends and areas ripe for disruption

- Dive into the entrepreneurial process and the clean energy and climatetech startup ecosystem

- Learn and practice the fundamentals of customer discovery to understand your problem and ideate solutions

- Hear origin stories from other founders

Module 2 - Validate

Week 5 - 8

- Learn how to craft a value proposition and continue to validate your startup idea through customer discovery

- Conduct customer interviews, gather data and iterate

- Learn how to develop an MVP and how to test your riskiest assumptions

- Learn about your market

- Hear stories from other women founders about their validation process

Module 3 - Build

Weeks 9 - 12

- Learn the art of the pitch: how to prepare, what to include in your pitch deck and get some practice and feedback to deliver a killer pitch

- Learn the fundamentals of startup legal and financials

- Learn the foundations of tech and product management

- Learn more about the capital raising journey of a startup and meet active cleantech and climate angel and venture capital investors

- Hear about the capital raising process from other founders


It costs $1200 per person (including GST) to participate. This fee is charged upon acceptance into the program or in three monthly instalments.

We're a non-profit organisation and your contribution goes towards program delivery costs. The price includes:

  • 12 weeks of workshops, presentations and Q&As
  • Frameworks and course content you can keep and use again
  • 1-1 startup mentoring from one of our exceptional WICEF mentors
  • Individual check-ins with our Fellowship Manager to help you work through challenges
  • Access to EnergyLab's extensive mentor network

If you're not happy with the program, email us within a month of graduating and we'll give you your money back, no questions asked.

What our alumna have to say

There is no better way to gain the confidence and skills you need to be a climate entrepreneur than the WICEF programme. Surrounded by a selection of amazing women it was incredible how much growth and transformation this programme can give to you.

The WICEF program is unique in the way it creates a truly supportive environment. Not only did the women in my cohort have amazing credentials and backgrounds, they were also so generous in their willingness to help me with my journey. It’s wonderful to be part of a group of women championing women!

WICEF has given me the tools to ideate, test, and fund whatever climate-tech ideas I want to pursue. It's taught me to arm myself against imposter syndrome, to fail successfully, and to find helpers along the way. The team have cultivated a supportive and self-driven environment to learn among a group of women I know I'll stay in touch with long after this program has ended. Take the leap! You won't regret it.

Whether your goal is to develop an existing idea, formulate an idea or bring design thinking and entrepreneurship to your existing role, the fellowship will have you thinking beyond what you thought you were capable of and will connect you with the most supportive powerhouse network you can imagine. Warning - not encouraged for people wanting to stay on a predictable career trajectory, but, if you’re ready to really explore what you are capable of, jump at any chance to be in this program!

The WICEF program has helped me gather the answers I needed and the confidence required to start testing my ideas for my clean energy startup - and most importantly confirmed that I can take on the climate change challenge. If you're looking for key insights into clean energy disruption, entrepreneurial skills and understanding the startup journey - this is the program for you.

For me, the WICEF Program was transformative. I had always been interested in innovation and start-ups, but lacked the courage and knowledge to contemplate going out on my own. After it, I am wiser, more open to the vulnerability of the process, and am clear in what methods I need to take to test my ideas. Plus, I now have an instant network of supporters to help me through it!

The WICEF experience is not a superficial networking opportunity. It's a community of passionate women who want to go against the grain, pursue entrepreneurship, inspire, and be inspired. This experience has not only exposed me to the initial steps for developing a startup but has empowered me with the confidence to actively pursue my idea and support the global transition to a zero-carbon world.

EnergyLab have thoughtfully curated an experience for women interested in clean energy entrepreneurship. This program covers key topics every up and coming start-up should be aware of and provides tools and resources for taking the first steps. It also offers unique opportunities to meet founders of some of the most successful start-ups in the clean energy space in a setting that is relaxing and fosters genuine collaboration.

WICEF has been a very enticing journey. I went into the fellowship without an idea or expectation and came out of it with a co-founder and a startup idea. To future WICEF-ers, go with an open mind and be ready to have fun!

A safe, inclusive, and positive environment for our diverse group to push our understanding of who we are and what we're capable of. I came into this experience not sure whether or not I was smart enough/capable enough/resilient enough to found a company and 3 months later I've been taught some amazing techniques to overcome imposter syndrome, round out my skills in entrepreneurship and build an amazing network of like-minded women. Killing it!!!

How to apply

Applications for our 2024 cohort are open.


July 1 - July 31 2024

The first step in the process is to fill in a short online application form.


5 - 16 August 2024

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview. Interviews will be 15 minutes long and held online via a Zoom video call.


1 September - 8 December 2024

We'll aim to send out offers to join the program shortly after the interviews are complete and the program will begin first week in September.

Selection criteria

Climate focus

You must have an interest in climate change mitigation.

Innovative drive

The ideal candidate is interested in launching their own startup, but we're also happy to receive applications from individuals interested in applying more innovative thinking to their existing organisations.

Valuable experience

We aim to bring together a diverse group of participants who each have valuable experience and expertise to contribute to group discussions.


The fellowship will run completely online via video conference.

A series of events will take place over approximately 14 weeks. The sessions will run for 1-2 hours each and there will be 1-2 sessions per week.

The fellowship cost is $1200 per participant, including GST.

No - we encourage diversity of experience. All you need is an interest in climate and energy entrepreneurship!

Ideally, yes! But it's not a dealbreaker :) The aim of this fellowship is to give you the know-how, tools and confidence to step down the entrepreneurial path. If you already have a startup you are working, great! If you don't, we can help you to ideate before the program begins!

Between 15 and 25 women will be invited to join the fellowship. We keep the group small so we can create an open, safe environment and provide personalised attention to each participant.

Please email [email protected] if you have any other questions.