Can Chicago become a cleantech capital? The Clean Energy Trust thinks so, if the area’s enormous intellectual resources – in the form of great universities, corporate powerhouses and research facilities such as the Argonne National Laboratory – can be funneled toward commercial ventures. One tool the organization is using to goose that process is a competition, the Clean Energy Challenge, which will hand out $100,000 to an early-stage business and $30,000 to a company in the concept stage.
We told you in October about this competition getting stared, and more than 70 cleantech innovators answered the call to apply. Now the trust has named 10 finalists for the early-stage funding award and five others for the concept-stage prize. Three of the early-stage companies are in the smart-grid sector, three in solar, two in energy efficiency and one each in biofuels and energy IT. The concept-stage finalists consist of two in the solar category, and one each in wind power, building technology and energy efficiency.
“The Clean Energy Challenge is about connecting the most innovative clean energy ideas with the business and finance experts who know how to develop new technology for commercial deployment,” said Amy Francetic, executive director of the trust. “This competition shook the bushes to find the best ideas and early-stage companies and we’re very pleased with the extraordinary people and concepts we’ve found.”
The trust said it will now help the finalists get ready to present their business plans to an “all-star panel of judges, including venture capitalists, corporate investors and business leaders,” at the Midwest Energy Forum in early March. As for the finalists and who they are, look below or check here.
Early-stage business finalists
|Agentis Energy||Elmhurst||Smart Grid|
|Clean Urban Energy||Chicago||Smart Grid|
|Energy Recovery Technologies||Evanston||Energy Efficiency|
|General Biomass Company||Chicago||Biofuels|
|Intelligent Generation||Chicago||Smart Grid|
|Root3 Technologies||Chicago||Energy Efficiency|
|Lotus Creative Innovations||Compton||Wind|
|Orbeon Technologies||Chicago||Building Technology|
|Thermal Conservation Technologies||Chicago||Energy Efficiency|