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Kauffman Foundation Partners with Cleantech Open

Foundation grant to support second annual Global Cleantech Open

(Kansas City, Mo.) July 21, 2010: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation today announced it is teaming up with the Cleantech Open, the world’s largest clean-technology business plan competition that encourages the development of innovation and companies. The Kauffman grant supports an expansion of the Cleantech Open, an organization that provides education, business planning and mentoring of early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs

"This emerging industry is essential to creating new jobs and boosting the economy," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. "The Cleantech Open has established itself as a leader in supporting clean-technology startup entrepreneurs who are addressing challenges to starting companies in this industry."

The Kauffman Foundation will officially launch its Cleantech Open partnership at the Cleantech Open National Conference, to be held on July 22, 2010 in San Jose, Calif. The nation’s inaugural cleantech conference will feature Lesa Mitchell, Andrew Hargadon, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, and Jonathan Ortmans, who will discuss the link between the Cleantech Open and Global Entrepreneurship Weeks.

The grant provides support for the second annual Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition, a signature event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 15-21, 2010, which annually introduces millions of young people around the world to entrepreneurship. The global competition aims to foster and highlight cleantech "big ideas" from forward-thinking entrepreneurs around the world, and to accelerate the discovery and development of groundbreaking cleantech solutions by working at a grassroots level. The support of the Cleantech Open furthers Kauffman’s commitment to accelerating innovations in the cleantech sector. In March of this year, the Foundation launched the Energy Innovation Network which provides links to technologies, entrepreneurs, finance, buyers and policymakers to make the pathway for energy entrepreneurs more transparent. The Foundation also is partnering with the federal government, businesses and nonprofits to hold regional energy innovation meetings over the summer and early fall to support energy entrepreneurs and high-growth energy businesses.  

"We have been working closely with the Kauffman Foundation for two years now, and are delighted to have their support," said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. "Our focus is on the intersection between entrepreneurship and cleantech: Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly the engine that sets the United States economy apart. Cleantech is the major economic opportunity for the coming decades, and we've been lagging. The Cleantech Open is the largest organization of our kind anywhere in the world, and our partnership with Kauffman will help us increase both our reach and our impact as we work together to accelerate cleantech entrepreneurship."

 

About 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 www.cleantechopen.com   , Facebook.com/cleantechopen, and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter.

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. More information, visit www.kauffman.org, and follow the Foundation on www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week

With the goal to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity, Global Entrepreneurship Week will encourage youth to think big, turn their ideas into reality and make their mark. From Nov. 15-21, 2010, millions of young people around the world will join a growing movement to generate new ideas and seek better ways of doing things. Tens of thousands of activities are being planned in dozens of countries. Global Entrepreneurship Week was founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK.