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Cleantech Open Announces Winners of 2015 National Accelerator, Global Ideas Competition, and Global Cleantech Innovation Program

The National Accelerator Grand Prize of $200,000 goes to Tank Utility of Boston, Mass.; SmartCharge of Matthews, N.C. wins the 2015 National Sustainability Award; AseptoRay of Israel wins the Global Ideas Competition; and Khaya Power of South Africa takes home the Grand Prize in the Global Cleantech Innovation Program. Click here for high-resolution version

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 24, 2015) - The Cleantech Open (www.cleantechopen.org), the world's largest accelerator of early-stage clean-technology companies, announced the winners of the Cleantech Open awards for the National Accelerator, Global Ideas competition, and Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP). The announcements were made in San Francisco at the Cleantech Open Global Forum, which marked the finale of this year's Cleantech Open Accelerator, the premier accelerator for cleantech startups. This year, the Cleantech Open recognized its Decade of Impact: collectively, Cleantech Open US Accelerator alumni companies have raised in excess of $1.2 billion in external funding over the past decade.

"Today, we celebrate a breathtaking decade of growth that has seen both national and global expansion. True to form, this year's startups reflect our reach: they represent a broad range of technologies, startup maturity levels, and geographies," said Cleantech Open Executive Director Ian Foraker. "The Cleantech Open has incredible momentum, and we are looking forward to expanding our impact over the coming decade of cleantech innovation."


National Accelerator Grand Prize: Tank Utility of Boston, Mass., has developed an innovative technology that monitors propane tank levels to reduce the high delivery costs of delivered fuels. Tank Utility provides a low-cost, easy-to-install, internet-connected smart monitor for fuel tanks. The company sets itself apart from other monitoring solutions by providing secure mobile and web applications that allow fuel suppliers to reduce costs by providing real-time status, usage data, and transaction processing. Tank Utility was recognized by the judges for bringing a modern, internet-of-things solution to market in less than a year, and for the huge sustainability benefits that come from wringing waste out of the supply chain. Tank Utility was awarded the Grand Prize of $200,000: an investment of $100,000, and in-kind benefits and services valued at $100,000.

Commenting on the award, Tank Utility CEO Amos Epstein said: "What an incredible experience! The mentorship, network, and support from the Cleantech Open have helped us grow from an idea to a growing business over the last year. We're thrilled to be recognized as the winner of this year's Cleantech Open and can't wait to carry this momentum into 2016."

Shortlisted in the National Accelerator program was EverVest of Boston, Mass., which provides financial risk analysis and cash-flow modelling software used by renewable-energy investors. The software helps banks, investors, and developers analyze and structure financings for new assets, while also providing enterprise risk-management features for portfolio managers.

This year's National Sustainability Award went to SmartCharge of Matthews, N.C. for its energy-efficient LED light bulb that supplies four hours of battery backup during a power outage. The National Emerging Technology prize was won by Vartega of Arvada, Colo., a technology development company specializing in the carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) recycling process. Vartega is developing alternative technology, processes, and equipment to provide low-cost carbon fiber for use in mass market applications.

Free The Seed (the 2014 winner of GCIP-Malaysia) won the 2015 Global Alumnus Award. The company has just announced that it has entered into the final stage of major partnership and investment discussions with Samsung for scale-up of Free The Seed's production capacities and global product supplies. Samsung was one of the many major corporations and investors the founders met at the 2014 Cleantech Open Global Forum. Free The Seed's bio-enzymatic technology has the potential to replace the current use of fossil-based polystyrene and other packaging materials. In collaboration with Malaysia's Kedah Small Farmers Organisation, this home-grown technology has helped 1,300 paddy smallholders through direct and indirect benefits in the form of additional income from the purchase of paddy waste material and associated pre-processing activities, while improving the paddy field's sustainability by reducing incidences of open burning.

The Cleantech Open Global Ideas program is a global search for the most promising clean-technology ideas, held annually in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This year's winner is AseptoRay of Israel, which has developed a proprietary technology that deactivates bacteria in all liquids. The technology increases energy efficiency in the most common and energy-consuming step in beverage manufacturing: pasteurization.

"AseptoRay is delighted to have won the Cleantech Open Global Ideas competition. The companies participating all had cutting-edge ideas, and the fact that our technology was chosen by two distinguished panels of professionals and experienced judges is very exciting for us," said Motti Koren, business unit director at Aseptoray. "Above all, the competition confirms the strength of our product offering: an eco-friendly pasteurization technology that can truly revolutionize the food and beverage industries, and offer a solution that dramatically reduces costs and increases food safety."

The Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP) is a joint program of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Cleantech Open. This year's winner, Khaya Power of South Africa, has developed a solution for communities without grid power. The FAABulous Cookstove gasifies biomass to generate heat and power, providing a replacement for dangerous paraffin stoves, charcoal stoves and open, wood-burning fires.

"Khaya Power is extremely proud to be selected as the Global Winner of the 2015 GCIP accelerator with our FAABulous Power Appliance for off-grid households. I really want to recognize the contribution that the Global Cleantech Innovation Program has made, for without the structured knowledge-sharing about entrepreneurship, our ideas would still be trapped in our heads," said Dave Lello, CEO of Khaya Power. "The program helped us to understand and articulate our dreams more concretely. The fact that the judging panel got a clear picture of our idea and strategy is because we succeeded at laying out our plans simply and effectively."

Shortlisted in the GCIP competition was Positive Energy of Turkey, which has developed a scalable, cloud-based Energy Operating System for commercial buildings that provides actionable intelligence and continuous optimization aimed at increasing savings while improving asset performance. Khaya Power and Positive Energy were selected from among the six national winners and more than 900 applications from Armenia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey.

The Cleantech Open is the world's largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn innovative technologies and ideas into successful cleantech companies. Since 2005, upwards of 1,000 startups have participated in its annual accelerator and mentorship program in the United States alone. Of these, roughly 70 percent are still active today: these cleantech startups have collectively raised a total of more than $1.2 billion and created thousands of jobs. In 2014, the Cleantech Open expanded the reach of its acceleration program beyond the United States through the Global Cleantech Innovation Program (GCIP): a joint program of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Cleantech Open. In addition, the Cleantech Open runs the annual Global Ideas competition in collaboration with Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This program showcases the most promising clean-technology ideas across the planet and has included entrepreneurs from 43 countries. Fueled by an expanding global network of more than 2,000 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making the cleantech sectors a thriving economic engine around the world. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.org, or follow us on @cleantechopen and Facebook.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and partners, including National Premier Sponsor, Wells Fargo; National Category Sponsor, Arrow; and many others.

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