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BioVantage Resources Wins Cleantech Open 2010 Sustainability Award

Four teams demonstrate heightened commitment to sustainability as a core business strategy and key to value creation

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. December 8, 2010: Demonstrating how sustainable business initiatives can build economic, environmental, and social impact, Colorado-based BioVantage Resources has snagged the Cleantech Open’s National Sustainability Award for 2010. The award, presented by Autodesk, a National Sponsor of the Cleantech Open, was announced at the annual Cleantech Open Awards Gala. The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest clean-technology business competition created to find, fund and foster startup clean technology companies. Dubbed the “Academy Awards of Clean Technology,” the event recognizes entrepreneurial ventures that have completed Cleantech Open’s yearlong training and mentorship program and are now poised to either launch or attract additional business development resources. Other regional award winners recognized for their sustainability initiatives include Pacific Northwest winner Hydrovolts, North Central winner New Water, and California winner Bellwether Materials.


Nancy Fell, who heads up the sustainability program at the Cleantech Open, sees how the fusion of clean technology and sustainable business practices creates opportunities for wealth creation when products and services are intentionally designed for economic return, environmental stewardship, and social impact. “Our training approach blends traditional foundational business planning skills on how to meet shareholder value and build asset appreciation. But we don’t stop there; we help our entrepreneurs articulate how their products can minimize environmental impact and promote renewable resources as well as positively impact communities. This intentional triple bottom line—economic, environmental and social—business planning design process was created for specific reasons. First, we want to attract investment capital to fuel both domestic and international ‘sustainable market makers. Second, and as important, we want cleantech entrepreneurs to position and capture economic return as environmental resource management and social responsibility become central to contemporary business practices.” 


National Sustainability Award winner BioVantage Resources ( exemplifies how a naturally occurring substance—such as algae—can be developed into a product to clean contaminated water. The firm’s “green” solution serves to remove contaminants and other unwanted substances—such as hydrocarbons and heavy metals—from municipal, industrial and agricultural wastewater. The product minimizes impact to the environment and the outcomes translate to clean water for healthy communities and local reuse. 


“Sustainability is not only a core competency, it is a critical success factor,” said Sue Kunz, CEO of BioVantage. “We are proud to be a triple-bottom-line business focused on people, planet and profit. Succeeding at just one these is not enough. We believe businesses that think beyond next quarter’s revenue must have a sustainability agenda. This is critical to mid-term and long-term success.”


Sustainability Award 2010 Runners-Up:

Seattle-based Hydrovolts ( illustrates how innovative clean energy production can link economic efficiency and attract talented employees. Hydrovolts has developed in-stream turbines that enable distributed clean energy generation from waterways and tidal currents around the world. “We are integrating sustainability into our basic business processes, starting with our accounting system,” said Burt Hamner, CEO. “When sustainability is used as a goal for business process improvement and strategy, it reduces manufacturing costs, and social and political risks. We recognize how the lack of access to local renewable energy presents not only health risks to local communities but can contribute to geo-political and social instability. This awareness helps attract great people who want to align their spirit and values with their technical excellence.”


California-based Bellwether Materials (; video) makes high-quality green building insulation from sheep’s wool. “I wanted to start a company that did no harm to people, animals, or the environment, and that created as many American jobs as possible,” said Priscilla Burgess, CEO of Bellwether. Bellwether’s products show environmental stewardship as they are made from natural material that has no American market. The wool batting insulation products are safe and quick to install, and meet or exceed building code requirements. Bellwether is also helping the local economy by creating rural agricultural and manufacturing jobs throughout the United States. 


Minneapolis-based NewWater ( is a startup that utilizes University of Minnesota-based technology to develop a drinking water filter that removes atrazine, the most common pesticide found in drinking water. “NewWater is very happy to be recognized by the Cleantech Open,” said Joe Mullenbach, CEO of NewWater. “Sustainability is a fundamental part of what we do. Our bio-catalytic process is an inherently environmentally friendly method of water treatment that removes chemicals from drinking water while producing no waste stream.” NewWater’s product is a drop-in solution for municipal-scale water treatment facilities that also reduces the need for disposable filter media. The business model incorporates efficiency and performance metrics that can be readily applied across a number of water-treatment scenarios.


“Emerging cleantech companies like BioVantage Resources are at the forefront of creating a sustainable future,” said Lynelle Cameron, sustainability director at Autodesk, National Sponsor of the Cleantech Open. “As part of our ongoing commitment to cleantech companies, we congratulate the Sustainability Award winner and runners up who share our vision that a better world is a more sustainable world. It is through your leadership that we will fulfill this vision.”


Autodesk supports early stage clean tech companies through the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, which provides design and engineering software to accelerate development of solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Cleantech companies in North America and Europe can benefit from Autodesk solutions for Digital Prototyping by applying to receive up to $150,000* worth of software for only $50.

*Value is based on up to five commercial licenses of each application. 

Cleantech Open Sponsors

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner, Chevron; Global Foundation Partner, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; National Sponsor, Autodesk; Multi-Regional Gold Sponsor, Wells Fargo. The California region is additionally supported by Platinum Sponsors Pacific Gas & Electric and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. The North Central and Rocky Mountain regions are additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Faegre & Benson. The Pacific Northwest region is additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.


About The Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech business competition and the first-ever global cleantech ideas 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 more than $280M and creating an estimated 2,000 green collar jobs. Fueled by a network of more than 1,000 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 - YouTube channel - Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter: @cleantechopen.