Cleantech Open Names Four Innovative California Ventures To Compete for Top National Cleantech Startup

Finalists each win a valuable "Startup in a Box" prize of cash and services, and a shot at the $200,000 national grand prize in November at the Cleantech Open Global Forum.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Cleantech Open, the world's largest cleantech accelerator, named four California startups to compete at the Cleantech Open Global Forum for a prize of $200,000 and the title of 2013 Top Cleantech Entrepreneur. The 2013 Western Region finalists are DragonFly Systems, Polymer Green, PowWow Energy, and TylerCo.


This year, 96 teams of cleantech innovators entered the Western Region, one of eight regions that constitute the Cleantech Open's national accelerator program. In June, a panel of industry experts selected 50 applicants to take part in the accelerator program, of which 35 were selected as semifinalists to compete at the Western Region finals event, where they pitched their business concepts to a panel of investors and industry leaders.

Final regional judging took place in Fremont, California and was hosted by Chevron and the City of Fremont. Participating companies, mentors and judges heard from local business leaders, including Bill Harrison, mayor of the City of Fremont; Nancy Pfund, managing director of DBL Investors; California Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett; Tom Steyer, business leader and investor; and Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions.

Eight teams were selected as category winners.

  • Agriculture – Water – Waste. This category covers technologies that focus on improving food security, resource availability, conservation and pollution control. Polymer Green of San Rafael, California, won with its technology that turns plastic waste into fuel.
  • Chemicals and advanced materials. This category comprises technology that reduces or eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in materials or chemical products. Shape Change of Thousand Oaks, California, won with its plans to develop new forms of shape memory alloys and processes for both government agencies and businesses.
  • Energy distribution and storage. This category includes technologies that enable electricity delivery and give industrial, commercial and residential consumers greater control over when and how their energy is delivered and used. ARES North America of Santa Barbara, California, won with its grid-scale energy storage technology that is similar to pumped hydro-power but negates the use of water.
  • Energy efficiency. This category includes technologies that reduce energy consumption in industrial processes as well as in the home. TylerCo of Irvine, California, won with its lighting technology for commercial buildings.
  • Energy generation. This category includes innovations that use, enable and accelerate the usage of renewable energy resources as well as energy generation from alternative sources like waste heat, sewage and materials. DragonFly Systems of Mountain View, California won with its module-level power electronics for utility-scale solar installations.
  • Green building. This category focuses on reducing the environmental impact of construction by producing innovative, energy- and material efficient building materials. ArmaTerra of Reno, Nevada won with its idea to covert waste tires into earth-reinforcing construction products.
  • Information and communications technologies. This category includes companies whose primary business is built around computing hardware or software design improvements, or the application of information technology, web, mobile or social applications to reduce resource consumption and environmental impacts. PowWow Energy of Sunnyvale, California, won with its service to improve energy efficiency and water conservation in agriculture.
  • Transportation. This category encompasses transportation and mobile technology applications that improve fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution, reduce oil consumption or reduce vehicle travel. NuMotor Technologies of Incline Village, Nevada won with its plans to develop high-efficiency advanced IC engine systems for hybrid electric vehicle, portable power and CHP applications.
  • In addition to the eight regional category finalists, Lucent Optics of Sacramento, California won the Regional Sustainability Award, an honor given to the team that most effectively incorporated a triple-bottom-line approach to scaling its business. Lucent Optics has developed next-generation thin-film solar modules.

Judges selected four of these eight category winners as the Western Region finalists. These four teams now advance to represent the Western Region at the Global Forum next month. Western Region finalists win a "Startup in a Box" package that includes cash and donated services worth up to $20,000.

"All the companies that made it to this point have already made great advances in their businesses, and many have already connected with investors, partners and markets. We're extremely proud to promote four startups to represent the Western Region and wish these finalists every success as they head to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Jose, next month," said Erik Steeb, director of the Cleantech Open Western Region.

The Cleantech Open runs the world's largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled 727 cleantech startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped its alumni companies raise more than $800M in external capital, and created thousands of green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global network of more than 1,500 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's and the world's cleantech sectors a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and partners, including Global Partner, Chevron; National Education Partner, University of Phoenix; National Premier Sponsor, Wells Fargo; and National Sponsor, PARC. Regionally, the programs are additionally supported by the following corporate partners: Cleantech Innovations New England, Commercial Energy, Deloitte, Faegre Baker Daniels, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, National Grid, NYSERDA, Pacific Gas & Electric, and many others.

Media Contact: Tim Cox, Cleantech Open, +1-650-369-7784,

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