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Rocky Mountain Early Birds Get the Discount at 2010 Cleantech Open

April 22 Deadline Approaching for Discounted Entry Fee for Leading Cleantech Competition

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - 04/15/10) - The Cleantech Open (www.cleantechopen.com), the innovation catalyst that helps great ideas become viable clean tech businesses, announced that its early bird registration deadline for entering this year's competition is Thursday, April 22. Entrepreneurs in the six-state Rocky Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, are encouraged to enroll soon in order to secure a place in the competition -- and take advantage of discounted entry fees. Cleantech start-ups from the region will compete against entrepreneurs from across the country for more than $1 million in prizes. Professionals and students who register prior to the April 22 early bird deadline will save $50 on registration. The cost is $199 for professionals and $149 for students. The final registration deadline for the Cleantech Open is May 22, 2010. "We are excited about the new crop of Rocky Mountain cleantech entrepreneurs for this year's competition," said Richard Franklin, chair of the Cleantech Open, Rocky Mountain chapter, based in Denver. "They represent some of the best and brightest cleantech ideas in the nation and we will help them go from start-up to success with this competition." Fostering Entrepreneurship and Clean technology The Cleantech Open has helped connect entrepreneurs with the expertise, talent, and funding needed to create successful, sustainable businesses. Participants in the program benefit from a blend of mentoring, business-school-class training, and an opportunity to win $30,000 in funding and in-kind donations on a regional level, as well as compete for a national grand prize -- a "startup in a box" consisting of cash and services valued up to $250,000. Earlier this year, Cleantech Open joined forces with Ignite Clean Energy Competition (ICE) to establish the largest global cleantech business competition. ICE, widely recognized as the first cleantech competition of its kind, celebrated its fifth year in November 2009. Beginning in 2004 with less than 30 teams, the competition grew to 83 contestants in 2009 and expanded to include more than a dozen team building and kick off events throughout the East Coast of the US. The Cleantech Open is the largest cleantech competition in the country and the world, holding annual regional competitions throughout the nation and the first Global Cleantech Ideas competition held in 2009. Together, the two competitions attracted entries from 361 companies in 2009 and distributed over 1 million in cash and prizes. Additionally, both organizations have helped cleantech companies raise over $220 million in venture capital, secure over $15 million in research funding, and tens of millions in public grants and loans. The contest now spans five regions in 23 states and should draw more than 600 contestants in 2010. The Cleantech Open's programs have generated a stream of commercially viable businesses. In the first four years of the competition: * More than 200 teams have successfully competed in the program. * Alumni companies have raised more than $200 million in private capital. * More than 1,200 new jobs have been created by Cleantech Open entrepreneurs. The Cleantech Open has created these jobs at a cost of less than $5,000 per job based on the organization's spending to date. This is far below the cost estimated for job generation under state and federal programs or the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Competition Details Early stage startups are invited to enter in six competition categories: renewable energy, transportation, smart power, energy efficiency, green building, and air/water/waste management. More information on the competition is here: http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/index. Startups will compete first for regional prizes; regional winners will then face off in a national competition, vying for the Grand Prize of $250,000 in cash and services. Startups have until May 22, 2010 to submit entries. Semifinalists will be selected in each category and invited to participate in the Cleantech Open Accelerator program, where they will be given hands-on training and experience in all aspects of starting and sustaining their businesses from national experts in venture capital, business, law, marketing and sustainability. Cleantech Open Sponsors The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner: Chevron; and, across the country, Platinum Sponsors: PG&E, Faegre & Benson, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati; Gold Sponsors: Autodesk, Google, Holland & Hart, Intel, Merrick & Company, Marsh Fishmann & Breyfogle, and San Diego Gas & Electric; Silver Sponsors: Accretive Solutions, EKS&H and RoseRyan; and other sponsors: CORE Colorado and California Clean Energy Fund. About The Cleantech Open The Cleantech Open is the world's largest cleantech business competition. Its 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 $200m and creating an estimated 1,200 green collar jobs. Fueled by a network of more than 750 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.com, and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter. Useful Web resources Cleantech Open blog -- Facebook -- LinkedIn -- Twitter: @cleantechopen