Clean Tech Open Accelerator Program Boosts Green Startups

SE Clean Tech Open MeetingClean technology is a relatively new, but burgeoning, industry that is filled with brilliant ideas and promising innovations. Unfortunately, many engineers and potential trailblazers simply don’t have the funding to bring their ideas to fruition. That is where Clean Tech Open comes in, and offers a doorway to success for many entrepreneurs. Sort of like the TV show Shark Tank.

Clean Tech Open Explained

The success story of Cleantech Open is proof that the sustainability movement is growing. Started in 2005 in Palo Alto, CA, this not-for-profit organization provides financial assistance and mentoring to new businesses in the energy and environmental fields in eight U.S. regions. The synergy behind this innovative organization is the over 2000 industry veterans who volunteer their time to teach those following in their footsteps.

The Clean Tech Open has plans to open the hub for the Southeast Region in a 12,000 SF modern, co-working space in Atlanta.

Accelerator Program

The Cleantech Open Accelerator program is the world’s largest cleantech accelerator and has successfully assisted over 800 companies in taking the first step towards success. Their 2014 program is currently accepting new applications. The companies that are accepted, into the program will benefit from three months of mentoring and the ability to collaborate with other startups. They will also have access to industry veterans who have been in their shoes. The final deadline to apply for this year’s accelerator program is 5:00 pm on May 1st 2014. Early bird registration runs through 5:00 pm on April 1st and offers a reduced registration fee.

Accelerator Advantages

The Cleantech Open Accelerator program does much more than just teach new entrepreneurs the basics of business. It provides attendees with access to investors and capital resources that would be very difficult to attain on their own. In addition, company exposure through media and showcase events generate public interest in both products and the companies themselves. In fact, the Cleantech Open was presented as a topic of discussion by Joshua Greene, the Division President & Regional Director of the Southeast Region of the Clean Tech Open, at the March 13th Metro Atlanta Chamber meeting. The chamber’s interest stems from its Clean Tech Leadership Council, which aims to propel the development of the cleantech industry and job growth. Budding entrepreneurs really couldn’t ask for more. However, the icing on the cake is the prize money that the organization awards, which ranges from $10,000 per region up $200,000 for the national competition.

Two alumni companies of the Accelerator program also gave presentations at this meeting. The first presentation was given by Geoff Berlin, the CEO, of Retrofit America, a four year old company that provides home efficiency retrofits. We learned an average home retrofit is around $7,500 which produces an average savings of 40% on heating and cooling costs with a pay back rate of about six to eight years. It reduces air leakage by 30%, the impact is huge.

The second presenter was, Jackie Hutter, MS, JD, the CEO & IP Strategist of Evgentech. Her company is making huge strides in reducing the time it takes to recharge a depleted battery. They are helping to take the pain out of plugging in by reworking the 100 year old methodology we now use. Laboratory testing on conventional lithium ion cells demonstrates that Evgentech’s charging process can provide not only fast charging, but also lower charging temperatures, greater energy efficiency and longer life.

As a leader in the industry, Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) strives to be a comprehensive resource to others in green industries and technologies. By helping to spread the word about topics such as Cleantech Open, SIG aims to expand awareness and industry news on a variety of sustainability topics.