The California Clean Tech Open is widely held as one of the best business plan competitions in the world. According to the judges, 2009 holds some of the best and brightest ideas the competition has seen yet.
Just yesterday, 50 semifinalists were selected from hundreds of applicants in the competition's six categories -- Water & Waste, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Smart Power and Transportation. Each semifinalist will be supported by a team of mentors who will help the start-up crystallize its business plan, pitch and create a competitive strategy.
The top five in each category will be selected in the fall and paraded in front of the nation's top clean tech investors, and the winner in each category receives a $100,000 "start-up in a box" and a shot at early-round funding.
The program is extremely successful. Over 80 percent of Clean Tech Open semifinalists are still in business and have received a total of $115 million in capital.
This year has some very interesting entrants -- from innovative flywheel energy storage for wind and solar farms to a new web-based solar installation program (which I blogged about here) and a portable, self-powered modular home called Ecolithic. Here is a complete list:
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