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Cleantech Open Announces Winners of 2012 National Accelerator and Global Ideas Competition

The Grand Prize “Cleanie” of $250,000 goes to HEVT in the transportation category. Runner-up is Rentricity in the renewable energy category. Sustainable Systems International wins the 2012 National Sustainability Award. Dragonfly Solutions wins the 2012 Alumni Award. Biosyntia of Denmark wins the Cleantech Open 2012 Global Ideas Competition.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., November 13, 2012: The Cleantech Open (, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, has awarded HEVT of Chicago, Illinois, the Grand Prize “Cleanie” award, which is bestowed on the Top Cleantech Entrepreneur of 2012. HEVT has developed game-changing motor technologies that feature smart software and hardware to empower the next generation of electric motors. Rentricity of New York was runner-up, with its clean, renewable hydrokinetic energy-recovery technology for drinking water, wastewater, and industrial infrastructure.

The announcements were made at the Cleantech Open Global Forum — the “Academy Awards of Clean Technology,” which marked the grand finale of this year's Cleantech Open Accelerator, as well as the culmination of the 2012 Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition. More than 1,000 cleantech professionals, including companies from this year’s program and previous years’ Cleantech Open Accelerators, along with mentors, venture capitalists, and large corporate representatives, attended the two-day festival of cleantech innovation and entrepreneurship, which was held in San Jose, California.

Four other finalist teams won a Cleanie in their respective categories:

  • Air-Water-Waste — Red Ox Systems, whose Electrochemical Desalination Cell treats wastewater from oil and gas wells where is it produced, obviating the need to truck it around the country.
  • Energy Efficiency — SiNode, whose advanced Li-ion battery technology enables a cell phone to charge up in minutes and last for days.
  • Green Building — GR Green, which has patented a process to produce roofing tiles from recycled plastic and limestone.
  • Renewable Energy — Rentricity, for its clean, renewable hydrokinetic energy-recovery technology for drinking water, wastewater, and industrial infrastructure.

“Congratulations to the 2012 winners and finalists, which represent the best in early-stage cleantech innovation and viable solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges,” said Rex Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open. “I would also like to express our huge appreciation of our sponsors, who make the Cleantech Open possible, and to thank the army of volunteers who power the world’s largest cleantech accelerator.”

“Our partnership with the Cleantech Open allows complementary assets to be leveraged, accelerating the commercialization of advanced technologies that will benefit our economy, and potentially, our base business,” said David Stone, senior vice president at Chevron Energy Solutions.

2012 Cleantech Open Global Ideas winner
For the fourth year, cleantech innovations from around the world were also featured at the Cleantech Open in a separate competition. The Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition looks to find ‘big ideas’ by working at a grass-roots level, and supporting and fostering those ideas through Cleantech Open partner organizations worldwide. Orchestrated in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, startups from around the world competed in their respective countries for national awards, with the national winners facing off at the Global Forum for a prize worth $100,000 in startup services. This year, more than 1,000 applications were submitted in more than 30 countries, with finalist teams from 11 countries traveling to compete at the Global Forum. Six teams were then selected to present to a final jury of investors and technology experts:

  • Biosyntia – Denmark (Energy Efficiency). Biosyntia offers high-performance cell factories for fermentation of fine chemicals for manufacturing companies, enabling them to cut production costs by up to 80%, while gaining a greener profile.
  • BRD Motorcycles – USA (Transportation). BRD builds better motorcycles - faster, easier, prettier and more economical - that happen to be electric. Our first product, the 2013 RedShift motocrosser, has been called “the first electric to demonstrate a clear superiority over its gas predecessors.”
  • enLighten – Australia (Energy Efficiency). enLighten Australia designs and supplies highly efficient LED lighting for commercial, industrial and residential strata applications, reducing energy consumption by up to 93 percent compared with traditional fluorescent lighting.
  • Lumos – Israel (Renewable Energy). Lumos brings affordable energy to 1.5B people in the off-grid world by providing a “home power station in a box” — a new type of solar panel that allows users to purchase electricity on demand using their mobile phone.
  • Solar Mobility – Dominican Republic (Transportation). Solar Mobility’s vision is to enable the replacement of fossil fuel transportation with solar powered vehicles, by providing disruptive, 8 minutes, low cost charging technology; introducing new trends in the transportation industry and new business models.
  • SP3H – France (Transportation). SP3H provides optical analysis through a small device installed in engines for fuel quality and specificity (carbon chain analysis). This enables allows a drastic reduction in consumption and pollution by dynamically adapting the parameters of the motor.

A panel of expert judges determined the winner: Biosyntia of Denmark. Runners-up were SP3H of France and BRD Motorcycles of the USA.

Kevin Braithwaite, chair of the Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition commented: “It is no coincidence that the winning team came from a country that is very supportive of entrepreneurship, technological innovation and environmental innovation. It was a very close final but for the second time in the competition’s history, entrepreneurial scientists and engineers from Denmark have risen to the top. We are truly excited about the diversity and strength of teams that we saw from around the world this year and look forward to working with many of them over the months and years to come.”

2012 Alumni Award winner
Each year, the 2012 Alumni Award recognizes a Cleantech Open alumnus company that achieved significant momentum during the year. To determine the winner, several factors are assessed, including funding, customer acquisition, and successful customer implementation. This year, the Alumni Award was awarded to Dragonfly Solutions, which won the sustainability award in the 2011 Rocky Mountain competition.

Dragonfly Solutions is helping schools discover new sources of revenue through projects focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Dragonfly’s School Energy Efficiency Development (SEED) program provides cash rewards to schools for measured energy savings. It also creates new revenue streams through proven energy-saving technologies and public-finance options that create net revenue generation.

This year, Dragonfly signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Ypsilanti School District and has several other contracts pending. The company also established channel partnerships with two national corporations (School Energy Partners and Environmental Certificate Exchange) to market and sell its Environmental Certificates, and has grown its salesforce in every state as well as in Australia.

2012 National Sustainability Award winner
The Cleantech Open’s Sustainability Program strives to highlight the relevance of sustainability and promote sustainable business principles and practices throughout all Cleantech Open activities. The primary goal is to give all the teams in the competition the tools and motivation to embed sustainability into every aspect of their company. Each team receives specific mentoring to ensure triple-bottom-line business practices are considered during business planning, and embedded into all aspects of the organizations' operations. Teams are judged on how well they describe and quantify the net environmental, economic and social benefits/impacts of their cleantech application, and how well does the team describe and quantify the environmental, economic, and social responsibility and impacts of their operations in manufacturing and providing their technology or service.

This year’s National Sustainability Award goes to Sustainable Systems International for its excellent alignment of business goals with an overall sustainability strategy. Runner-up: RideScout, which scored well for developing and integrating the plans, policies and programs that align its business with the requirements and protocols of a number of global standards and best practices, such as governance, transparency, and alternative transportation.

The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, a nonprofit organization that fosters the most promising startups in clean-technology fields through a nine-month program that includes education, relationship building and funding opportunities. The nationwide program began in March with 356 of the most promising entrepreneurs in the cleantech field competing for local honors and national recognition at the Cleantech Open Global Forum. A broad cross-section of corporations, educational institutions, industry experts and successful entrepreneurs participate in the Cleantech Open’s proven accelerator and mentoring program, as well as the intensive curriculum at the Cleantech Open National Academy. After regional competitions in each of the Cleantech Open's seven regions, the top 25 national finalists from around the United States convene at the Global Forum to pitch their business concepts to a panel of investors and industry leaders. Judges select the National Grand Prize winner (which receives $250,000 in seed investment and services) from the five category winners. A separate panel of judges selects the National Sustainability Prize winner (which receives $10,000 in cash and services).

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that 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 581 clean-technology startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped its alumni companies raise over $660M in external capital, and created thousands of green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global 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 and the world’s cleantech sectors a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by our Global Partner, Chevron; National Education Partner, University of Phoenix; and National Sponsors, PARC and Wells Fargo. Regional competitions are additionally sponsored by the following corporate partners: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Deloitte, Google, The Dow Chemical Company, Faegre Baker Daniels, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Walmart, Patton Boggs, Commercial Energy, Mintz Levin, PG&E, Reed Smith, and many others.

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