This paper analyzes the role of operations design in securing funding for highly risky projects. We use data from 36 transformational innovative clean technology projects, which have been selected and funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), to examine to what extent the operational decisions can mitigate risk and enhance firm valuation during clean technology start-up stages. We find that firms with operations design that is targeted to reduce business risk receive more funding. Specifically, the start-up firms in highly risky projects receive more funding with operational hedging strategies. Nevertheless, operations design related to market competitiveness shows significant negative correlation to level of funding.