Press Release

Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Cleantech Open Announces North East Region Competition Winners

Top cleantech entrepreneurial companies from the North East win $170,000 in prizes and the opportunity to compete for the national grand prize in November


BOSTON, Massachusetts -- October 4th, 2011 -- The Cleantech Open (, the world’s largest clean-technology accelerator, has announced the finalist teams that will represent the Cleantech Open’s North East (CTONE) region at the national competition in November. The winning teams—Arctic Sand, Qado Energy, and PK Clean—were selected from an elite group of semifinalist cleantech entrepreneur teams that competed in the North East Region competition.


In addition to the 3 regional winners, Sanergy won the regional sustainability award, an honor given to the team that most effectively incorporated a triple-bottom-line approach to scaling its business.


Each of these teams has won a “Startup in a Box” prize package that includes combined cash and in-kind services worth up to $20,000. Finalists from all six regions (California, North-Central, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain and South-Central) will convene for a final showdown in November at the Cleantech Open 2011 Global Forum in San Jose, California.


This year’s competition also marked the Cleantech Open Northeast’s first collaboration with U-Launch, which provided additional funded service awards valued at nearly $90,000 to select semi-finalists. U-Launch is funded by the DOE Innovation Ecosystem and administered by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) in collaboration with the New England Clean Energy Foundation (a supporting entity of the New England Clean Energy Council), the Association of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION) and long time Cleantech Open sponsor, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Winners included two of the regional finalists, Qado and Arctic Sand. Other U-Launch awards went to Dynamo Micropower, ByteLight, Keystone Tower Systems and ThinkLite. Ubiquitous Energy took home the largest award, a combination of R&D, executive in residence (EIR) and incubation services from the U-Launch partners valued at $30,000.


“I am pleased to see such innovative teams and technologies be recognized for all of their hard work and contributions to the renewable energy industry,” said Rob Day, Director of the North East Regional chapter of the Cleantech Open. “Their hard work represents the commitment and dedication of all of the teams involved in this competition, and that bodes well for the future of this industry.”


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


The Winning Teams:


Qado Energy – Smart Power/Smart Grid:
Develops next generation distribution grid analytics platform for electric utilities and regulators.


PK Clean – Air, Water, and Waste:
Developed a technology that converts plastic waste to fuel and is currently targeting securing plastic waste from co-locating with metal recyclers and selling oil to small refineries.


Arctic Sand – Energy Efficiency:
Developing power converter chips to serve manufacturers to reduce electricity costs for data centers.


Sanergy – Air, Water, and Waste:
Provide sustainable sanitation in urban low-income areas via waste conversion using anaerobic digestion, organic composting, and pyrolysis to generate biogas, fertilizer, and biochar.


Dynamo Micropower - Energy Efficiency
Developing a low cost, fuel flexible, microturbine for distributed generation


ByteLight – Smart Power / Smart Grid
Design intelligent lighting systems capable of providing digital data communications through general-purpose lighting.


Keystone Tower Systems – Wind Turbine Components
Developing a new manufacturing process for the wind industry that allows larger, more structurally efficient towers to be produced on-site, eliminating constraints associated with transport.


ThinkLite – Energy Efficiency
Working to enhance lighting solutions by providing in-depth analysis with three- dimensional mockups, installation by certified electricians, guarantees and recycling of old products; all at no upfront cost.


Regional semifinalists “bubble up” to compete for the national cleantech title
In June 2011, 163 semifinalists were selected from a pool of more than 285 talented cleantech entrepreneurs from across the country that submitted entries in the seven regional competitions run by the Cleantech Open. From these teams, one team will be selected to advance and represent each region, competing at the national level for a grand prize of up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind services, and an overall prize chest of nearly $1 million. National judging of regional finalists will take place November 15th &16th, 2011 at the Global Cleantech Forum in San Jose, California, with national winners to be announced at the Gala event.


The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by our Global Partner, Chevron; Global Foundation Partner, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; National Education Partner, University of Phoenix; and National Sponsors, Autodesk and Wells Fargo. Regional competitions are additionally sponsored by the following corporate partners: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati (multi-region), Deloitte (multi-region), Jones Lang Lasalle (multi-region), CTSI, CalCEF, Commercial Energy, Faegre & Benson, Google, Grundfos, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Mintz Levin, Patton Boggs, PG&E, and Reed Smith.