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Mayor John Hickenlooper Announces Rocky Mountain Finalists for Cleantech Open

Winners move on to compete for additional prizes and national title; to be awarded November 17.

DENVER—November 2, 2009—The Cleantech Open (www.cleantechopen.com), today announced the winning teams in the Rocky Mountain region of the world’s biggest cleantech business plan competition: New Sky Energy, Rivertop Renewables, and SunTrac Solar. In addition, Cool Energy, Inc. won the Sustainability Award for the Rocky Mountain region.

In remarks to more than 200 attendees at the University of Denver’s Cable Center, Mayor John Hickenlooper said, “We know in Denver that with cities using 75 percent of the world’s resources, change must happen at the local level.  We congratulate and are grateful to the 2009 Rocky Mountain CleanTech Open award winners who are helping to change the way we use energy in Colorado and across our country. Innovative companies like these are protecting our quality of life and preserving America’s natural wonders for generations to come.”
 
“This is the first year for Cleantech Open in our region and it has been a phenomenal experience for all of the companies that have participated,” added Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open Co-Chair Richard Franklin. “Our army of expert volunteers has given our competitors a jump-start on the competition.  We are proud to have these companies represent the Rocky Mountain region.”

The three 2009 Rocky Mountain finalists will receive $50,000 of cash and in kind services. The companies include:

New Sky Energy:  Boulder-based New Sky Energy (www.newskyenergy.com) is the world's first carbon negative chemical manufacturing company. The firm’s revolutionary technology captures and converts carbon dioxide into feedstocks, like soda ash and limestone, which are used in glass, plastics, building materials, fabrics and other products. 

"As a start up, we benefitted tremendously from the Cleantech Open process and are extremely grateful for their help in refining our message and nailing down our business plan," said Dr. Deane Little, CEO of New Sky.  "New Sky is a disruptive technology that can change industry, and we are forever indebted to the Cleantech Open for recognizing that and pushing us on to further success."

Rivertop Renewables: Based in Missoula, Montana, Rivertop Renewables (www.rivertop.com) is innovating a new category of science – “Progressive Chemistry.” Merging proven science with renewable resources, Rivertop Renewables is creating an abundant and economical supply of sustainable and safe chemicals and bioproducts. Rivertop products are biodegradable and built from renewable plant sugars.

“In addition to the great counsel and guidance we got from the program, the connections we made with venture capitalists and other funders made our participation in the CTO extremely worthwhile,” said Jason Kiely, director of marketing at Rivertop.

SunTrac Solar: SunTrac Solar (www.energisticsystems.us) of Golden, CO, the only high temperature solar collector heat product manufactured in the United States, provides a long-term, cost effective solar solution for heating residential and commercial hot water. SunTrac reduces utility costs by up to 80% while taking up only half the space of current panel designs. The patented system tracks the movement of the sun, collecting 50% to 70% of the available solar energy to heat hot water up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

“For SunTrac Solar, the Clean Tech Open process has been an amazing journey of learning and growing,” said SunTrac CEO Bill Lowstuter.  “All of the support and mentoring has helped us dramatically to refine and hone the business plan and elevate our business far beyond where we started.  The thousands of hours the volunteers have donated has truly been a humbling experience.”

The Sustainability Award Winner:

Cool Energy: Cool Energy of Boulder (www.coolenergyinc.com) was selected the winner of the regional sustainability award. Cool Energy has developed a clean heat and electrical power generation system for homes and small buildings that runs solely on solar fuel and reducing energy bills by as much as 75%. The main innovation is called the SolarHeart® Engine which converts any source of heat into usable electricity. In addition to solar applications, the engine can generate electricity from biomass and waste heat sources.

"The Cleantech Open helped Cool Energy enhance the communication of our story and value. During the CTO process, we re-worked our business plan and made many new and valuable business connections. Winning the Sustainability category will help us with customer and investor visibility as we begin to install pilot systems and develop our channels in the U.S., Canada and Europe.” said Sam Weaver, President and CEO of Cool Energy, Inc.

The finalists were selected from a talented pool of 64 clean tech entrepreneurs from the Rocky Mountain region.  A total of 278 teams from across the country submitted entries — the most ever in the four-year history of the competition. All told, the 2009 Cleantech Open competition includes more than a $1 million in total prizes and a “100K Jobs Challenge” to create 100,000 clean tech jobs in America over the next five years.  Finalists from the Rocky Mountain region will join counterparts from California and Pacific Northwest for a final show-down at the Cleantech Open Awards Gala, held in San Francisco on November 17.

Cleantech Open is made possible by National and Colorado sponsors
The Cleantech Open Rocky Mountain competition is made possible by the generous support provided by National Expansion Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Platinum Sponsor, Faegre & Benson; Gold Sponsor Holland & Hart and Marsh Fishmann & Breyfogle; Silver Sponsors, EKS&H and Miller Coors; Award Ceremony Sponsors, Burt Automotive, Colorado Governor’s Energy Office and Jones Lange LaSalle; Program & Event Sponsors, CCIA, ICOSA, KPMG, Sandia National Laboratories, Republic National, Colorado SBDC, VanGilder Insurance, Swedish Medical Center, and Metro Denver Wired.

Competition details
Early-stage startups compete in six categories: air/water/waste management, energy efficiency, green building, renewable energy, smart power, and transportation. For more information on the Cleantech Open business competition: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/eligibility.

Cleantech Open Web resources
Cleantech Open website: www.cleantechopen.com
How it works: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/index
2009 semifinalists: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/semifinalists
Cleantech Open blog: www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/blog/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21709779424
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/companies/clean-tech-open
Twitter: @cleantechopen

About The Cleantech Open
The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech business competition. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The program provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships to turn ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has helped hundreds of clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helping alumni contestants raise over $125m and making thousands of green collar jobs possible. Fueled by a network of more than 400 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's clean tech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.com, and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter.

In addition to the original competition held in California, the Cleantech Open was expanded in 2009 to include two new regions: the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming; and the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Cleantech entrepreneurs will compete for a total of more than $1 million in prizes. Past alumni successes include Adura Technologies, Cool Earth Solar, Enverity, Federspiel Controls, GreenVolts, GroundSource GeoThermal, Lucid Design Group, Mission Motors, and Syncromatics.

For more information:

Morrison Shafroth, CSG-PR        Pam Peccolo, Peccolo Executive Partners
720-470-3653                         720-334-7374
mshafroth@csg-pr.com            pam@peccolopartners.com