Cleantech Firms Get A Voice At NREL Forum

Thirty clean energy companies will present their businesses to a panel of experts and potential investors in Denver next month, hoping to be a winner in the 2011 NREL-Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Clean Energy Venture Awards.

The awards will be up for grabs at the U.S. Department of Energy‘s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) 24th NREL Industry Growth Forum. In addition to vetting the business presentations, the forum will also explore the clean energy industry’s developments in both technology and business, featuring speakers and panels covering current clean energy issues.

image via National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The NREL Industry Growth Forum has been a popular place for generating interest and investments in the clean energy sector, as well as for small and startup companies to get recognition and support. Since 2003, participating companies have managed to raise almost $4 billion in investment.

According to the NREL, companies invited to the event range “from top-tier startups to university and laboratory spinouts, as well as emerging cleantech companies from across the country and overseas.” Most of the companies are early venture, NREL said, but seed and later-stage investment companies are also included.

Robert Writz, a Forum organizer from NREL’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, says that it is “critical to create a platform to connect key players in the clean energy startup community. We are bringing entrepreneurs directly together with financiers, policymakers and technology experts. We’re planting the seeds for future conversations, future partnerships and eventual business decisions that strengthen the clean energy industry.”

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Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.