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Cleantech Open Announces California Competition Winners

Top cleantech entrepreneurial companies from California win a “Startup in a Box” prize worth $30,000, and the chance to compete at the national awards in San Jose.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., October 12, 2010: The Cleantech Open — the world’s largest business competition devoted to finding, funding, and fostering successful cleantech businesses — has announced the six finalists who will represent the region at the national competition in November. These winning teams—Fogbusters, Pressure Sentinel, Pure Solar, SmartSense, Stramit Strawboard, and Suntulit—were selected from an elite group of 37 semifinalist cleantech entrepreneur teams that competed in the California competition.

In addition to the six regional winners, Bellwether Materials won the regional sustainability award, an honor given to the team that most effectively incorporated a triple-bottom-line approach to scaling its business.

“Making it through to the finals is a huge step for these teams, who are already winners among the many teams that entered the California competition,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. “These California finalists will convene next month with teams from our four other regions at the Cleantech Open National Awards and Expo, our annual showcase of the best in global cleantech.”

In March of this year, 271 teams across five regions submitted entries—the most ever in the five-year history of the competition. 81 of those teams made it through to the semifinals, of which 37 were California semifinalists. Last week, at Chevron headquarters in San Ramon, each California semifinalist team presented its business plan to the Cleantech Open judges, who selected six to compete in the national competition.

Each finalist team won a “Startup in a Box” prize package including combined cash and in-kind services worth up to $30,000. Finalists from all five regions (California, North Central, Northeast, Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain) will convene for a final showdown at the Cleantech Open National Awards and Expo, held in San Jose on November 17.

The California 2010 competition finalists are:

Air, Water and Waste: FogBusters – revolutionary technology for removing fat, oil and grease (FOG) from wastewater. (

Energy Efficiency: Suntulit – smart, multi-zone HVAC system enhancement for homeowners with central forced-air systems. (

Green Building: Stramit Strawboard – converts low-cost agricultural waste into high-value building board. (

Renewable Energy: Pure Solar – laser-processing tool to produce an industry-standard c-Si wafer to increase efficiency for photo-voltaic cell manufacturers.

Smart Power: SmartSense – real-time fault detection, fault prediction and performance monitoring for electrical grids

Transportation: Pressure Sentinel - automatic tire inflation system that eliminates the problem of underinflated truck tires (
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.” Currently, 22 states participate in the Cleantech Open program, and over 30 states are expected to contribute companies to the program in 2011.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner: Chevron; National Foundation Partner: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; National Sponsor: Autodesk; Multi-Regional Gold Sponsor: Wells Fargo. The California competition is additionally supported by Platinum Sponsors: Pacific Gas & Electric and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati; Gold Sponsors: Google, Intel, Reed Smith, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric; Silver Sponsors: Accretive Solutions, ENVIRON Foundation, and RoseRyan; and Program Sponsor: California Clean Energy Fund.

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 $280M and creating an estimated 2,000 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. Cleantech Open website • blog • Facebook • LinkedIn • Twitter: @cleantechopen.

For more information:
Tim Cox, PR Chair, Cleantech Open
+1-650-369-7784 —