Cleantech Open Narrows The Field

And then there were three. Silicon Solar Solutions, cycleWood Solutions and Smart Office Energy Solutions are the three teams chosen to represent the South Central region in the Nation’s Clean Tech Open. The Cleantech Open finds, funds and fosters businesses from around the country that work to solve energy, environmental and economic challenges.

The three cleantech startups each won a “Start-up in a Box” prize that includes cash and services worth up to $23,000. Finalists from all six regions (California, North Central, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain and South Central) will come together for the national competition in November at the Cleantech Open 2011 Global Forum in San Jose, Calif.

Cleantech Open

image via Cleantech Open

Teams attending the national competition will be vying for a grand prize of up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind services, with an overall prize pool valued at nearly $1 million on the line.

CycleWood Solutions has developed an environmentally-friendly alternative to the one-use plastic bags called the Xylobag. The patent-protected design biodegrades in 150 days once it reaches the natural environment.

Silicon Solar Solutions is commercializing a process to crystallize amorphous silicon into large grain polysilicon. Silicon Solar’s process is said to create grains that are thirty times the size, with half the processing temperature in minutes instead of hours. Polysilicon is used in the production of solar panels.

The third finalist, Smart Office Energy Solutions, provides an integrated plug-and-play solution that helps businesses by measuring their energy consumption, managing its use and motivating human behavior to eliminate energy waste.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.