Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

Clean Tech Open Expands to National Competition

posted by William R. Stott
Published: February 12, 2009

The Clean Tech Open, a non-profit that connects entrepreneurs with the expertise, network, and funding to make clean tech possible and profitable, kicked off its fourth annual competition season this month. At its first monthly Breakfast Briefing, the Clean Tech Open unveiled plans for the 2009 competition, its largest yet, and shared milestones reached by its alumni start-ups. The event was keynoted by Kevin Chen, who directs Green Energy Strategy at Google.

In the last three years, the Clean Tech Open has helped more than one hundred start-ups raise more than $125 million in funding, according to the organization's press release. Today these companies employ approximately 500 people and represent some of the leading players in various key clean tech sectors, including: Adura Technologies, Aurora Biofuels, Cool Earth Solar, GreenVolts, Lucid Design Systems, NiLA, and Syncromatics.

This year, the 2009 Clean Tech Open season will extend its competition beyond California, inviting entrepreneurs and inventors from all parts of the country, with regional competitions in California and the Rocky Mountains. Entrants are invited to compete in six categories: Air/Water/Waste, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Smart Power, and Transportation.

New to this year's national competition will be a Grand Prize for one clean tech start-up that will receive the largest prize award to date. Details on the competition and prizes will be shared at the Clean Tech Open Launch Event on March 19th, at San Jose's City Hall. Before then, contestants can learn more about the competition and begin registering now at All entries must be received by May 30, 2009.

"When we created the Clean Tech Open, we were focused on creating an ecosystem in which the next generation of innovation and talent could connect with the funding, experience and can-do attitude of Silicon Valley," said Marc Gottschalk, co-founder, Clean Tech Open. "Having achieved tremendous results, we're now eager to see what's next as the competition expands its reach to other parts of the U.S. This is just the beginning."

2008 winners included a simple product, based on proven technology, to reduce energy consumption of air conditioners by as much as 30%; a roof-mountable, large-scale, high-temperature solar water and steam heater that is low-cost, light-weight, and easily connected into existing industrial boiler systems; and on-demand energy efficiency management software for data centers.