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Judgment Time for Hottest Cleantech Startups in the U.S.

In the next month, dozens of contestants will learn their fates in the nation's two largest business plan competitions for cleantech startup companies. The Ignite Clean Energy competition will name its winners on November 10 in Boston. The Clean Tech Open, with competitions in Silicon Valley, Denver and Seattle, will name regional winners in events leading up to the national finals on November 17 in San Francisco.

Updated 11/17/09 with winners in both competitions

ICE 2009

The Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) business plan competition, based in Boston, Massachusetts, is a year long training and competitive forum for entrepreneurs in the clean energy industry. The competition invites teams regardless of age, professional status or academic background to compete in one of the most prestigious renewable energy competitions in the US. The 2009 competition kicked off mid-November 2008 with several team building events to help generate potential competitors.

ICE FINALS: November 10, 2009, Boston MA


1st - IntAct Labs - energy efficiency in the treatment of wastewater
2nd - InnoSepra - coal carbon capture and storage
3rd - EGG-energy - storage

ICE Semi-Finalists:

ARRIBA Solar - thin-film solar manufacturing processes

DyPol - fuel cells

EGG-energy (3rd)

HydroCoal - coal gasification

InnoSepra (2nd)

IntAct Labs (1st)

POWERleap - green buildings/sustainable design

Resolute Marine Energy - wave power

The Paper Battery Company - storage

Velkess Inc. - storage

2009 Clean Tech Open

Through its annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has helped clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition since 2006. Cleantech entrepreneurs compete for a total of more than $1 million in prizes. In addition to the original competition held in California, the 2009 Cleantech Open was expanded to include two new regions: the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming; and the Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

CTO REGIONAL FINALS: California - October 20, 2009, San Francisco CA
Pacific Northwest - October 29, Seattle WA
Rocky Mountain - November 2, 2009, Denver CO

CTO FINALS: November 17, 2009, San Francisco CA

National CTO Winner: EcoFactor

California CTO Semi-finalists:

Air, Water & Waste category

Highlands Soil & Water
Micromidas (finalist)
Solar Alchemy Inc.
Solum Inc.

Energy Efficiency category

Alphabet Energy Inc. (finalist)
Core4 Systems
HydroCoal Technologies LLC
Synergy Conscious

Green Building category

All Solar
Ecolithic Homes
New Avenue
Parco Homes
tru2lif/tru2earth (finalist)

Renewables category

Armageddon Energy (finalist)
ISIS Energy Solutions
Renewable Fuel Technologies LLC
ISIS Energy Solutions
SolarNexus Inc.

Smart Power category

dot UI
EcoFactor (finalist)

Transportation category

Evans Engines
FuelSaver (finalist)
GigEVolt Technologies Inc.

Related article:

"Finalists unveiled at Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open" - Puget Sound Business Journal

Pacific Northwest CTO Semifinalists:

Clarian Technologies - smart-grid enabled wind and solar appliances

Extreme Caps - energy storage

GoNano - high surface area nanomaterials applications in energy storage.

Green Lite Motors (finalist) - 100mpg commute vehicle in a car+motorcycle design

Hydrovolts (finalist) - power from water

InnovaTek - combined heat and power bio fuel cell appliance

LivinGreen Materials (finalist) - third generation solar technology

NHThree LLC - green anhydrous ammonia production

Pangreen - mobile and web-based solutions

Shorepower Technologies - transportation electrification

Soluxra - ultra low-cost organic solar cells for renewable energy anywhere

Veranda Solar - solar for the masses

Rocky Mountain CTO Semifinalists:

All Optronics - cost-effective solar power

CCBI - clean coal briquette

CLEANtricity Power - wind

Cool Energy - clean energy generating system

EE - low cost energy and carbon reduction saas

Husk Insulation - high-performance insulation from agricultural waste

ImagiPLAY - earth friendly, ethically made, child safe toys

New Sky Energy - (finalist) - clean chemical carbon sequestration

Rivertop Renewables - (finalist) - progressive chemistry

SEED - small engines for economic development

Sunflower - commercial hybrid solar lighting

SunTrac Solar - (finalist) - high temperature tracking concentrating collector

The author is a volunteer Mentor for competitors in the ICE and PNW CTO competitions.


California CTO finalists announced today are:

Air, Water and Waste: Micromidas converts raw sewage into biodegradable plastic.

Energy Efficiency: Alphabet Energy plans to commercialize a disruptive, low-cost thermoelectric technology that captures wasted energy and converts it into electricity.

Green Building: tru2earth makes 50+ year-rated roofing materials made from recycled PET (water/soda bottle) plastic.

Renewables: Armageddon Energy sells a packaged retail residential rooftop solar energy system that is attractive, affordable, and easy to install.

Smart Power: EcoFactor has a personalized residential energy management solution for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which enables consumers to reduce energy costs and save money on utility bills.

Transportation: FuelSaver Technologies' real-time, shape-changing technology increases fuel efficiency in long-haul vehicles such as tractor-trailer trucks and buses.