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Cleantech Open Names Three Rocky Mountain Region Entrepreneurs To 2012 National Finals of Top Cleantech Startup Competition

Rocky Mountain region cleantech entrepreneurs each win a valuable “Startup in a Box” prize and the chance to compete for the National Grand Prize in November at the Cleantech Open Global Forum.


Denver, COLORADO – October 11, 2012: The Cleantech Open (, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, today named three Rocky Mountain region startups as finalists to compete at the Cleantech Open Global Forum for $250,000 and the title of 2012 Top Cleantech Entrepreneur.


The Cleantech Open is a nonprofit organization that fosters the most promising startups in clean technology fields through a nine-month program that includes education, relationship building and funding opportunities. The proven program encourages cleantech entrepreneurs from around the nation to compete for local recognition, and have a shot at part of the overall $1-million purse for the national winners.


This year, 52 teams of innovative cleantech entrepreneurs entered the Rocky Mountain region of the Cleantech Open, from all six states in the region, including Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In June, a panel of local judges selected 20 teams to compete as semifinalists in the region.


Already, each team has benefited from an impressive list of benefits offered by the Cleantech Open Accelerator program: an expert mentor to guide them through the process and provide feedback on their business plan, extensive business training, networking opportunities with investors, and focused business training at the Cleantech Open National Academy.

Rocky Mountain region continues to find and foster cleantech entrepreneurs that are developing game-changing technologies and businesses,” said Richard Franklin, co-chair of the Cleantech Open Rocky Mountain region.  “We are proud to be a cleantech leader and wish our regional finalists every success as they head to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Jose next month.”


The most promising Rocky Mountain region cleantech entrepreneurs are:

§        Navillum Nanotechnologies, Salt Lake City, UT: Navillum, a chemical manufacturer, is a finalist in the Energy Efficiency category and has patented an innovative and energy efficient method for fabricating quantum dots (QDs) and other types of semiconducting nanocrystals at commercial scale. Founded in early 2012 by scientists at the University of Utah, the company was the grand prize winner of 2012 University of Colorado Cleantech Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Lab.  


§        Molon Labe Designs, Breckenridge, CO: Molon, a finalist in the Transportation category, has designed a new airline seat that can help airlines cut loading and unloading time in half. The firm’s innovative “slider seat” slides away from the aisle, expanding the aisle space from 19 inches to 43 inches and allowinf faster boarding in adjacent rows. After boarding on each row is completed, the aisle seat is slid back into position. 


§        Hydrant-Flush, Westminster, Colo.:  Hydrant-Flush, a finalist in the Air, Water and Waste category, This category covers technologies that focus on improving resource availability, conservation and pollution control. The firm has developed patent pending technologies to rehabilitate water main distribution systems without excavation or disruption to landscape environments. Hydrant-Flush provides water districts with a "low Risk" solution at substantial cost savings.


In addition, Navillum Nanotechnologies also won the Regional Sustainability Award, an honor given to the team that most effectively incorporated a triple-bottom-line approach to scaling its business.


Navitus Sustainable Industries (Renewable Energy) of Salt Lake City,  and Vortex Tools, LLC (Energy Efficiency), of Littleton, Colo., were named runners-up in the competition. Vortex was also named the runner-up for the Regional Sustainability Award.


Selection to the finals wins the participants a “Startup in a Box” package that includes cash and donated services worth up to $20,000. Finalists from all seven regions (Mid-Atlantic, North-Central, Northeast, Northwest, Rocky Mountain, South-Central, and Western) will convene on November 8, 2012 for judging at the Cleantech Open 2012 Global Forum in San Jose, California.


“Making it through to the finals is a huge step for these teams, and I congratulate them on being selected from among the many teams that participated from around the nation,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. “These innovative entrepreneurs have already received extensive business mentoring, training, and opportunities to showcase their solutions to the public and investment community. Next month, at the 2012 Cleantech Open Global Forum, they will present their innovation to an international audience.”



The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. We provide entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch successful cleantech companies. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The 581 alumni companies of the Cleantech Open’s accelerator programs have raised more than $660 million in external capital. Learn more at and follow us on and @cleantechopen.


The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by our Global Partner, Chevron; National Education Partner, University of Phoenix; and National Sponsor, Wells Fargo. In addition, the Rocky Mountain region competition is sponsored by the following corporate partners: Merrick & Co., Marsh Fischmann Breyfogle, Deloitte, PWC, EKS&H, Black & Veatch, Faegre Baker Daniels, PADT, Inc. and Jewell Insurance.  The Rocky Mountain region also enjoys support from the South Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, Patton Boggs, National Renewable Energy Labs, Colorado Community Media, Walek & Associates, Cleanlaunch, 9News and Posit Partners.


For more information:

Morrison Shafroth, PR Chair, Cleantech Open Rocky Mountain Region 




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