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Cleantech Open Announces North Central Competition Semifinalists

Clean and green entrepreneurs compete in a regional competition and then move on to

June 15, 2010: Minneapolis, MN - The North Central region of the Cleantech Open ( business competition announced that 16 semifinalist teams have been selected to represent the region in the world’s biggest clean tech business competition. The semifinalists were selected from a talented pool of more than 50 cleantech entrepreneurs from across the seven-state region of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. North Central semifinalist teams will compete for regional prizes including combined cash and in-kind services worth up to $30,000. Only the top cleantech entrepreneurs will advance to compete at the national level for a grand prize of $250,000 in investment and services.


Over the next few months, semifinalist teams will receive coaching from the Cleantech Open network of talented business mentors, one-on-one consulting with specialists, an intensive business boot camp at the Cleantech Academy and local supporting events, training and materials. This support helps each team develop a comprehensive business plan and investor pitch to be presented to professional investors and experts. The National Awards —the “Academy Awards of Cleantech”— takes place November 17, 2010.


“This year’s entries are more numerous and more innovative than ever,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. “Semifinalists will receive help with everything from grant-writing to public relations – and the winners will walk away with a valuable ‘Startup in a Box’ of cash and services. We’re delighted to be promoting the success of such talented entrepreneurs.” 


The 2010 Cleantech Open competition offers more than $1 million in total prizes and aims to create 100,000 green-collar jobs in America by the end of 2015 with its “100K Jobs Challenge”. The semifinalists for the 2010 Cleantech Open North Central Competition are:

BioCee, Inc. 

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Biocatalysts for clean fuels, water and chemicals

Blue Planet Strategies 

Madison, Wisconsin

Water treatment for copper mining that extends production of presently unusable copper deposits


Madison, Wisconsin

Retrofitting kit to reduce harmful emissions from internal combustion engines

Direct Drive Energy, LLC

Lowden, Iowa

Kinetic energy storage mobile power refrigeration

EarthClean Corp.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Biodegradable, non-toxic fire suppressant systems that can be used in existing firefighting equipment

Easy Energy Systems, Inc.

Welcome, Minnesota

Modular waste to energy systems

Emission Control Solutions, LLC 

Pomona, Kansas

Technology to increase engine fuel efficiency and reduce emissions

Energy Control Technologies, Inc. 

West Des Moines, Iowa

Automation systems for energy efficient operation

Environmental Technologies, Inc.

Mankato, Minnesota

Anaerobic digestion process technology to convert organic waste into renewable natural gas

Grain Life Technologies

Des Moines, Iowa

Energy efficient and advanced post-harvest technologies for the grain industry

Graphene Solutions, Inc.

Platteville, Wisconsin

Technologies that increase the practical application of nanomaterials

IrriGreen Technology

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Intelligent underground sprinkler systems to cut water usage and costs in half

New Water, LLC

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bio-remediation for water utilities

PNR Greenhouses

Des Moines, Iowa

Turnkey greenhouse and aquaculture development in close proximity to metropolitan areas

Silicon Solar Solutions, LLC

Rogers, Arkansas

Technology to improve energy output and lower cost of silicon-based solar power cells

SynGest, Inc.

Waukee, Iowa

Conversion of non-food biomass into value-add nitrogen fertilizer and other renewable biofuels


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 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, email and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter.


North Central Cleantech Open sponsors include Chevron (global sponsor), Autodesk (national sponsor), U.S. Department of Energy, Faegre & Benson, Padilla Speer Beardsley and Piper Jaffray.