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Blog Archive: November 2009

California Semifinalist Driptech is One of 15 Innovators From Around the World Recognized for Applying Technology to Benefit Humanity

Posted by Katie Payer at 2:30 PM, 11/01/2009

Come see Driptech, one of the semifinalists in the 2009 Cleantech Open, at the November Awards Gala.  In September, Driptech, inc. was named to The Tech Awards Laureates 2009, one of 15 global innovators recognized each year for applying technology to benefit humanity and spark global change. The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum, and presented by Applied Materials, Inc., selected Driptech from among hundreds of nominations representing 66 countries.

Hundreds of millions of people in the developing world face water shortages in crop production; drip irrigation delivers precisely the right amount of water and not more. Driptech’s unique manufacturing drills precision holes in thin plastic tubing, thereby reducing the number of parts and the cost of a drip irrigation system.

The Tech Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity is one of the premier annual humanitarian awards programs in the world, recognizing technical solutions that benefit humanity and address the most critical issues facing our planet and its people. The awards program honors 15 scientists and innovators annually alongside the recipient of the Global Humanitarian Award. Laureates are selected by a prestigious panel of international judges organized by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University, and made up of Santa Clara University faculty as well as leaders from educational and research institutions, industry and the public sector around the world.

“The Tech Awards is an incredible honor, recognizing individuals and organizations whose ideas and execution of those ideas are changing the world,” said Peter Frykman, founder and CEO of Driptech.  “We are proud to be among those recognized for their contributions, and will continue to develop solutions that help rural farmers increase their income and standard of living.”

“The global challenges of the day have become increasingly strident, more deeply rooted,” said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum. “Still, there is hope. These incredibly impressive Laureates have all proven to be equal to, or better than, the challenge to make the world a better place. By celebrating their accomplishments, we are encouraging future innovators to work toward solutions to make the world healthier, safer and more sustainable.”

Established in 2000, The Tech Awards recognizes 15 Laureates in five universal categories: education, equality, environment, economic development and health. These Laureates have developed new technological solutions or innovative ways to use existing technologies to significantly improve the lives of people around the world.  One Laureate in each category will receive a $50,000 cash prize during the annual Awards Gala in San Jose, Calif. on November 19.

This year, the Laureates represent the truly global vision of the program, spanning countries such as Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana and the Bay Area. Their work impacts people in many more countries worldwide.

The Tech Awards collaborates with humanitarian, educational, and business partners through global outreach efforts, giving people around the world the opportunity to benefit from the successful technologies recognized through The Tech Awards. The selected Laureates’ projects address multiple humanitarian efforts including developing alternate ways to generate electricity, creating free educational tools, evaluating ethical wage standards and reducing counterfeit drugs.

For more information about The Tech Awards, visit

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Released: Keynotes and presenters for our November 17th Grand Expo & Awards Gala

Posted by Ian Bryan at 9:00 AM, 11/04/2009


The Cleantech Open today released the line-up of keynote speakers and presenters for its November 17th Grand Expo & Awards Gala at the Masonic Center in San Francisco. Dubbed the “Academy Awards of Clean Technology”, the event marks the grand finale of The Cleantech Open’s year-long business competition. The event is designed to showcase the boldest in clean technology, the most nation’s most ambitious entrepreneurs and the brightest, most engaged investors, venture capitalists and prospective technology customers.

Speakers and presenters include:

Bill Weihl
As Green Energy Czar at Google, Weihl leads efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy while managing Google’s greenhouse gas footprint.

Dennis Hightower
Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and a seasoned business executive with a 40-year career in the public and private sectors, Hightower is responsible for ensuring that the Department of Commerce leads the way in government efficiency, effectiveness and performance management.

Steve Westly
Prior to founding The Westly Group, Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California. During his four-year term, he led an effort to commit more than $1 billion to clean technology investments. He also served as the California Co-Chair for the Obama for President Campaign in 2008.

Gil Friend
CEO and President at Natural Logic, Friend is a systems ecologist and business strategist with 35 years experience in business, communications and environmental innovation.

Lesa Mitchell
As Vice President of Innovation at Kauffman Foundation, Mitchell has been responsible for the Foundation’s frontier work in understanding the policy levers that influence the advancement of innovation from universities into the commercial market.

An event like no other
Gala Presenters will join hundreds of finalist and alumni companies, along with thousands of clean technology supporters and enthusiasts, for a day immersed in networking, discovery and funding. The event opens with an exposition floor filled over 120 cleantech companies, followed by a series of presentations and pitches from Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition finalists from around the world. The afternoon continues with the main awards ceremony, in which the 2009 National Cleantech Open Winner is announced and presented with a $250,000 prize package. Afterward, the Expo floor will reopen for continued networking opportunities. In addition a private champagne reception will host Inner Circle Ticket Holders, speakers, sponsors, finalists and the Cleantech Open 2009 Winner.


2009 Cleantech Open Grand Expo & Awards Gala
Nob Hill Masonic Center
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
November 17, 2009
10 am PT – 8pm PT

The Cleantech Open 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: PG&E; Gold Sponsors: Autodesk, The Cleantech Circle, Google, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati; Silver Sponsors: Accretive Solutions and RoseRyan; and Program Sponsors: California Clean Energy Fund, Ernst and Young, and Korn/Ferry International.

Media and outreach partners include the Matter Network, San Francisco Business Times, Greener World Media,, Sustainable Industries and Sustainable Life Media.

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The Vikings are coming...

Posted by Ian Bryan at 8:00 AM, 11/10/2009

Did you know that the Pitch/Demo Sessions portion of the Cleantech Open Grand Expo & Awards Gala is focused on our Global Ideas Competition

And, did you know that your vote will count towards the winner? 

At 1:00 PM, visitors to the Expo and all Awards Gala ticket holders will be welcomed into the main hall of the Masonic Center in San Francisco to vote via text/SMS for the best idea out of dozens presented from around the world. 

Learn more about the Global Ideas Competition here.

So watch out Silicon Valley: the Ideas Competition is GLOBAL and the Danes have something to say:


Does your registration include this portion of the event? Contact the Cleantech Open at 888-989-OPEN to upgrade or learn more.

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Meet the winners... Ecofactor

Posted by Ian Bryan at 8:30 AM, 11/18/2009

Thousands rallied for the Cleantech Open’s daylong festival of cleantech innovation, entrepreneurship and policy, which culminated in a grand prize award of $250,000 for one national winner.

Selected from the 12 finalists of the Cleantech Open business plan competition, the National Prize was awarded to EcoFactor ( A finalist in the Cleantech Open California regional competition, EcoFactor entered in the smart power category, with a personalized residential energy management solution for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The grand prize is valued at $250,000, including $100,000 of seed capital, and was presented by vice president and managing executive of venture capital Trond Unneland at Chevron Technology Ventures. Separately, today Chevron announced they were joining the Cleantech Open’s roster of corporate partners as inaugural Global Partner for the 2010 Cleantech Open business competition.

“We're thrilled to be named the national winner of the Cleantech Open, especially considering the high caliber of cleantech companies we were up against,” said Scott Hublou, SVP of products and co-founder of EcoFactor. “It's a great honor to win an award in which we were evaluated and judged by our peers and people whose feedback and opinions we value.”

“This award is as much about the strength of our whole team as it is about the important work we're doing. Being named the Cleantech Open national winner really validates our solution and our business model, and proves that the market is looking for energy-efficiency solutions that don't ask people to change their behavior or sacrifice comfort,” said John Steinberg, CEO and co-founder of EcoFactor. “This award will help us further advance our mission of providing personalized residential energy management solutions, because we believe consumers shouldn't have to choose between savings, comfort and convenience.”

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2009 Awards Gala Carbon Neutral!

Posted by Katie Payer at 10:15 AM, 11/24/2009

What a great event the Gala was! The energy in the Expo! hall was palpable, the  demos were thrilling, and it was a great thrill to learn that EcoFactor is the first national winner of the Cleantech Open business competition!

For those of you who joined us, thank you so very much for your support of what we do.

I’m very pleased to announce that PlanetUp very generously offset all the carbon from our event, giving the 2009 Awards Gala a zero carbon footprint.  This is a wonderful initiative that our Sustainability Team worked on, so a special shout-out to Julia Hu and her team for making this possible.

Please visit for more information.

-- Katie Roberts, Marketing and Communications Manager

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