The Global Cleantech Open in San Francisco did not disappoint. Dozens of demos, investor and alumni company greetings, and speeches ran up to the main event of the big 501(c)(3) organization that catalyzes global cleantech innovations. As the sun came out on an initially rainy and blustery Sunday, participants met the finalist teams from all over the world and witnessed the top awards, including $200,000 in investment and in-kind services, from the world’s largest cleantech competition.
At Treasure Island’s striking administration building, the Global Cleantech organization lauded three companies with its National Accelerator awards.
First place: NG1 Technologies, makers of the Techflo exhaust system for trucks, which increases engine torque and horsepower to save 10-20% on fuel and also reduces both sound and visible soot impacts. Techflo works in the US and Australia and was originally designed for “quiet in/quiet out” operations of the repo and military industries.
Second place: Drinkwell, a WIST, Inc. company that aims to revolutionize the global water industry by transforming the world’s water crisis into entrepreneurial opportunity using micro-franchises in arsenic-affected areas. Drinkwell says the company delivers 60 times more water, is 17 times more energy efficient, and reduces waste by 7 orders of magnitude compared to Reverse Osmosis, which is the current best practice. The company has 200 profitable deployments across India, Laos, and Cambodia through local partners. Drinkwell ultimately aims to save 200 million people from drinking contaminated water. The company also won the CTO’s National Sustainability Award.
Third place: 75F of Mankato MN, a promising startup I first encountered at the Midwest Cleantech Open. It’s an intuitive, fast-setup temperature interface that uses dynamic air balancing through a wireless mesh network to increase comfort within individual spaces, buildings, and installations, saving users energy and money. 75F also won the National Accelerator People’s Choice award.
Shortlisted in the Global Cleantech National Accelerator program were BitGrid from Washington, DC, a cloud-based utility mutual aid system that’s more efficient, safe, and automated than existing grid platforms; and Maxout Renewables of Livermore, CA. Maxout’s US- and China-patented products cut the cost of power transmission from solar panels to the grid from 50 cents/watt to 10 cents/watt.
CTO attendees awarded the Global Ideas People’s Choice to Ynsect, a French company that uses insects to bioconvert organic substrates (cereal byproducts, for example) into sustainable nutrient resources for agro-industries and bioactive compounds for green chemistry. Shortlisted in the Global Ideas program were AutoAgronom (Israel), Gasliner (Latvia), RayGen (Australia), and Waynergy (Portugal). Axiom Energy won the VC Choice Award, and Dragonfly Systems (recently acquired by SunPower) took home the honors for CTO alumni companies.