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Cleantech Open Alumni Secure Record $65M In VC Funding and Grants In the Past Six Months

Recent funding of EcoFactor and Micromidas, both winners in the 2009 Cleantech Open, underscore the chief benefit of entering the competition: accelerated access to capital.

Redwood City, Calif., April 22, 2010: The Cleantech Open, the world’s largest clean-technology business competition, announced that two finalists from the 2009 Cleantech Open have just secured venture capital funding, propelling each company toward commercial success:

  • EcoFactor, which provides personalized solutions for managing residential energy use for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, has secured a $3.5 million Series A round. This recent round is in addition to the initial $2.4 million announced earlier this year.
  • Micromidas, which has pioneered a process that converts raw sewage into biodegradable plastic, has secured a $3.6 million Series A round.

“We’re thrilled by the recent successes of EcoFactor and Micromidas. They deserve huge credit for their teams and their technology, and demonstrate how involvement in the Cleantech Open can help catalyze successful cleantech entrepreneurship,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. “So far, since December 2009, 12 alumni companies have secured funding, totaling more than $65 million — a record start to our fifth year. Their technologies range from waste-heat recovery, to technology that monitors a building’s energy and water use, to power management for data centers. Congratulations to all of them — we can’t wait to see this year’s crop of cleantech innovators.”

“The Cleantech Open’s world-class training and mentoring programs provided us with access to, and the means to utilize, an exceptional network of highly effective, seasoned people with experience in a variety of relevant industries,” said John Bissel, CEO of Micromidas.

Other Cleantech Open alumni companies that have announced funding this year:

  • Adura Technologies received a $12 million funding round from NGEN Partners, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and Claremont Creek Ventures
  • Alphabet Energy received $320,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Army, and the Air Force
  • Cascade Clean Energy received a $400,000 PIER Grant from the California Energy Commission
  • EnerVault received $3.5 million in funding from U.S. Invest and Oceanshore Ventures
  • FloDesign Wind Turbine closed a $34.5 million Series B funding round, with Series A venture investor Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers adding a syndicate of three major new investors: a Goldman Sachs managed investment fund, Technology Partners and VantagePoint Venture Partners
  • Lucid Design Group received a $1.5 million Series A funding from Dry Creek Investments
  • New Sky Energy received $750,000 in upfront R&D funding from the Westlands Water District (Fresno, Calif.), with a total of $3.2 million set aside for a carbon capture and desalinization project in California’s Central Valley
  • SolarNexus received a $312,000 California Solar Initiative grant

How to enter the Cleantech Open 2010 competition
The Cleantech Open runs programs that provide world-class entrepreneurial training, mentoring and support and partner programs to bring clean technologies to market. Entries are currently being accepted for the 2010 competition, and must be received by May 22. An ‘early bird’ discount is available for entries received today, April 22. Prices are $199 for professional teams and $149 for student-led teams. To enter:

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 clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled hundreds of clean technology startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped alumni contestants raise over $260M, and created an estimated 1,200 green collar jobs. Fueled by a network of more than 600 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.


Tim Cox, ZingPR
National PR Chair, Cleantech Open
(650) 369-7784 —