Despite the recent recession and slow recovery, capital venture-backed companies in all sectors are still springing up across the country with some companies thriving. Recently, The Wall Street Journal released its choices for the top 10 venture-backed clean-tech companies in the United States, and New York-based Recycle Rewards Inc. topped the list.


One of Recycle Rewards’ subsidiaries is Recyclebank, a program that encourages consumers to recycle by tying monetary rewards to the process. The program also partners with nonprofits, businesses, schools and other organizations to create a new fundraising revenue stream that also has an added environmental benefit.


Recycle Rewards Inc. employs about 150 people and its major investors include Coca-Cola Bottling Group, Sigma Partners and the Westly Group. Recyclebank has a presence in 29 states and the United Kingdom.

The rest of the top 10 clean-tech companies include the following, in order: Suniva Inc, eSolar Inc., MiaSole, Opower Inc., GreatPoint Energy Inc., SeaMicro Inc., Boston-Power Inc., Luxim Corp., and Sapphire Energy Inc.


Several of these clean-tech companies are in the solar industry including Georgia-based Suniva Inc. Suniva was founded in 2007 by Ajeet Rohatgi and is already nearing 200 employees. The Wall Street Journal included the company on its list because, “The maker of efficient and inexpensive solar cells has been growing fast, unfazed by global competition. It's one of the only start-up solar cell manufacturers in the U.S. seeing increasing demand, and it has a $130 million war chest.” Source; The Wall Street Journal


One notable company missing from this year's top 10 clean-tech list is Tesla Motors. The company’s initial public offering in 2010 made Tesla ineligible for this list, which is restricted to venture-back companies only.

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