At a event held last week at Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in Bellevue, Wash., the Pacific Northwest region of the Clean Tech Open (CTO), an innovation catalyst that helps great ideas become viable clean tech businesses, announced the 12 semi-finalists out of a field of 56 initial competitors in its clean tech business plan competition. The teams will compete for three regional prizes of up to $50,000 in cash and in-kind services as well as for one national prize of up to $250,000 in cash and services. Semi-finalists will now receive focused, hands-on mentoring from local and national business leaders to hone their clean tech business plans in preparation for the regional finals in September.
Given its nationally recognized Green Power Program, its ongoing regional leadership in the advancement of energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy, and its Silver-level sponsorship of CTO, PSE was a logical venue for the ceremony.
“We are dedicated to fostering innovation in clean technology,” said Stephen P. Reynolds, president and CEO of PSE.
The region’s semi-finalists represent several distinct clean tech categories including energy storage, solar power, small-scale solar, wind and hydro, transportation and renewable chemicals. The entire geography of the Pacific Northwest region is represented in the semi-finalist group including eight teams from Washington, three from Oregon and one from Idaho. The 2009 Pacific Northwest region semi-finalists include:
- Clarian Technologies - Smart-grid enabled wind and solar appliances, Seattle, Wash.
Extreme Caps - Energy storage, Olympia, Wash.
- GoNano - High surface area nanomaterials for energy storage, Moscow, ID
- Green Lite Motors – 100 mpg commuter car/motorcycle vehicle, Portland, Ore.
- Hydrovolts - In-stream hydro turbines, Seattle, Wash.
- InnovaTek – Renewable hydrogen fuel cell technology, Richland, Wash.
- LivinGreen Materials - Advanced solar technology, Seattle, Wash.
- NHThree - Green anhydrous ammonia production, Richland, Wash.
- Pangreen - Mobile and web-based platforms enabling green living, Kirkland, Wash.
- Shorepower Technologies – Electric charging stations, Portland, Ore.
- Soluxra - Low-cost organic solar cells, Seattle, Wash.
- Veranda Solar - Plug and play solar appliances, Portland, Ore.
The 12 semi-finalist teams will now participate in the CTO Accelerator program where they will be given training and experience in all aspects of starting and sustaining their businesses from national experts in venture capital, business, law, marketing and sustainability. All contestants can continue to be involved in the CTO community, having access to networking events, business tools, and other mentorship opportunities.
“The quality of entries was so high that we feel any of these 12 semi-finalists could be the regional, or even national winner,” said John Pierce, co-chair of the CTO Pacific Northwest chapter, member, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and one of the leaders of its Renewable Energy and Clean Tech Practice. “These entrepreneurs and more than 30 volunteer mentors are anxious to get to work and turn these clean tech ideas into successful businesses.”