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Cleantech Open Kicks Off Second Annual Pacific Northwest Competition

Proven cleantech innovation catalyst helps local entrepreneurs build successful cleantech companies that expand green collar jobs and foster economic growth


SEATTLE (April 7, 2010) – The Cleantech Open, the world’s largest business competition created to find, fund and foster clean technology startup companies, has launched its second annual Pacific Northwest competition.  This year’s competition will connect local cleantech entrepreneurs with expert mentoring and guidance, venture capital and funding experts, private and public innovation centers, and sponsor organizations from across the Northwest in the quest to help clean technology companies go to market, create jobs, and support economic growth in the region. Cleantech entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for the competition by the May 22, 2010 deadline ( to compete first for more than $100,000 in regional prizes and ultimately a national Grand Prize of $250,000 in cash and services.


“We believe that many of the solutions to the critical energy, environmental and economic challenges facing us today will come from the creativity, dedication, and passion of entrepreneurs and inventors,” said Byron McCann, Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open Co-Chair.  “As we continue to expand, our competition offers regional cleantech innovators a faster path to commercialization.”

The Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open launch event will take place on Tuesday, April 20th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Olive 8 Hotel in downtown Seattle. On the eve of the Seattle GoGreen Conference, the event will feature past Cleantech Open winners, aspiring entrepreneurs and technologists as well as business, civic and financial leaders. More information and online registration is available at:

Last year’s regional winners include Portland’s Green Lite Motors (100 MPG Commuter Vehicle) as well as Seattle-based companies LivinGreen Materials (Advanced Solar Technology) and Hydrovolts (In-Stream Hydro Power). Each of these winning teams received $50,000 in cash and in-kind services and competed for the national prize package. Hydrovolts, also the winner of the competition’s National Sustainability award, has used additional investment funding it received following the 2009 competition to build a full-size turbine for field testing. The company was also recently chosen to locate its headquarters in the ground-breaking McKinstry Innovation Center in Seattle. 

"As a start-up having gone through the ups and downs that come with starting a business, we recognize that the Cleantech Open is unmatched in its ability to provide entrepreneurs the skills and insight to move from a great idea to a successful business,” said Burt Hamner, CEO of Hydrovolts. “I would encourage anyone with a cleantech idea to enter the competition to get first-hand input from mentors and cleantech experts you won’t receive anywhere else.”

Semifinalists will be selected from each of the competition’s regions and invited to participate in the Cleantech Open Academy 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. More information on the competition can be found online at:

This year, the national Cleantech Open competition has expanded to two new regions: the North-Central region, spanning North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska; as well as the North-East region, which includes New York and Massachusetts. They join California, where the competition was founded in 2006, as well as the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions, which participated for the first time in 2009. This year, entrepreneurs will compete for more than $1 million in prizes nationally.


Cleantech Open Sponsors

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner: Chevron; and Pacific Northwest regional sponsors Avista Corporation, Puget Sound Energy, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Useful Web resources

Cleantech Open blogFacebookLinkedInTwitter: @cleantechopen

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 $150m 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, and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter.