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Clean Tech Startups & Investors Matchmaking Heats Up

Posted by at 6:13 AM, 07/02/2009

By Carole Low, Clean Tech Open Volunteer. Thanks Carol!

The games have begun for  Clean Tech Open’s fourth season of business plan competition! Back in 2008, the Clean Tech Open awarded 6 promising California ventures with $100,000 apiece.  Fast-forward to 2009, where all participants benefit. Ultimately though, the three regional competitions bubble up to 1 national winner-takes-all event. 


2009 Competition Timeline

March – Competition opens.

June – Semi-finalists selected regionally. (Denver, Seattle, Silicon Valley)

October – Finalists selected regionally.

November – Regional winners compete in the first national competition held in Silicon Valley. One deserving national winner secures a $250,000 investment combining cash with national services, press coverage, and public recognition.

Pacific Northwest - The region’s first Clean Tech Open competition selected its 12 semi-finalists from 56 applicants. The three finalists move onto the national competition and land $50,000 in case and in-kind services.

Rocky Mountain12 semi-finalists were chosen from 64 ventures, based in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Michigan; 8 Colorado teams distinguished themselves. Three of these teams will reach the national level in addition to securing $50,000 in cash and services. 

California - 158 contestants entered in 1 of 6 categories. 49 semi-finalists were selected. They will now compete with the help of seasoned mentors and advisors for one of 6 slots, $100,000 in cash and services, and a chance to compete at the national level. 

The stakes are high and offer a huge potential payoff for these clean tech contenders. For instance, BusinessWeek recently named CTO alum Nila as one of the 50 best tech startups. James Bond film Quantum of Solace and CNN (TWX) have both used Nila’s lights for large-scale projects, which already suggests promising beginnings.

In an executive Q&A with Marc Gottschalk, co-chair of the California Clean Tech Open business plan competition, he shares key points about what it takes to be a winning cleantech venture. Time will tell.


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