Exelon Corp. and its foundation on Wednesday launched a $20 million initiative to fund start-ups working on new technologies to mitigate climate change in the six urban markets where Exelon operates utilities, including Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Wilmington.

The Exelon Foundation will contribute $10 million over the next 10 years to fund the Climate Change Investment Initiative, which will focus on clean energy and environmental technologies that have a potential for wide-scale commercialization. Exelon Corp. will match the grants with up to $10 million of in-kind investment of services, including advice on developing business plans and accessing capital.

Exelon, which reported $2.1 billion in profits last year, announced the initiative Wednesday at a clean-energy forum hosted by the Climate Group as part of Climate Week NYC, which is held annually in conjunction with the United Nations.

Innovations must have the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; boost the resilience of urban infrastructure against flood, stormwater, and rising temperatures; help cities, business, and communities adapt to climate change; or achieve a state or city’s specific sustainability and climate goals.

Minority and women-owned businesses will receive “particular consideration,” the company said. Applications can be submitted online at www.exelonfoundation.org.

The initiatives also benefit areas where Exelon operates local utilities: Atlantic City, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, and Wilmington. The company’s utilities include Atlantic City Electric, Peco, and Delmarva Power.

Exelon moved about a decade ago to divest much of its fossil-fuel power generation, and to concentrate on carbon-free nuclear. But the Chicago-based company’s efforts to push public policies that favor zero-carbon generation have been mixed: It was unable to persuade the federal government to embrace a tax on carbon, and on Friday, it prematurely retired its Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg after failing to convince Pennsylvania policymakers to approve a rescue for the state’s nuclear fleet.

Exelon’s utilities in the Philadelphia area do not produce power themselves; rather, they are strictly distribution companies that purchase power on wholesale markets from producers, including Exelon Generation.