SOURCE: Cleantech Open

June 15, 2010 12:55 ET

Cleantech Open Announces North Central Competition Semifinalists

Clean and Green Entrepreneurs Compete in a Regional Competition and Then Move on to Compete for More Than $1 Million in Prizes and the Prestigious National Cleantech Title

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) -  The North Central region of the Cleantech Open (www.cleantechopen.com) 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
   
CORE
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 www.cleantechopen.com, email nc_info@cleantechopen.com 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.

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