Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994
October 10, 2013
Regional awards event on Wednesday, October 9 draws a dozen Pacific Northwest innovators
The Cleantech Open Pacific Northwest held its fifth annual regional competition in Portland on Wednesday, October 9, hosted by the Portland Development Commission. Leading business executives and financiers from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia judged presentations by a dozen environmental technology innovators from throughout the region.
The Cleantech Open represents the world’s largest clean tech accelerator and has helped more than 700 startups raise more than $800 million in external capital. Its mission is to find, foster and fund entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. Begun in the mid-2000s in Boston and San Francisco, the Cleantech Open expanded nationally in 2009, starting with the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.
Oregon companies have a strong history with the Open. Beaverton’s Puralytics, which commercialized technologies originated at Oregon State University, was the first non-California team to win the Cleantech Open National Championship in 2010, the second year of the competition’s regional expansion. That same year, the alternative-vehicle company Arcimoto of Eugene was also a national finalist. In 2011, HM3 Energy of Gresham was a national finalist, and Indow Windows of Portland won both the national energy efficiency category and best sustainability plan. In 2012, Regenergy365 of Hillsboro advanced as a national finalist.
The regional Open’s awards reception, also held at PDC, featured business development updates from Oregon alumni companies as well as from each of the dozen teams in this year’s competition. The competing businesses represented seven venture types including agriculture, built environment, info tech, transportation, efficiency, generation, and storage.
PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, “Our partnership with the Cleantech Open is a vital piece of our overall investment in resources and opportunities for Portland firms. Portland offers a dynamic climate for clean tech entrepreneurs to flourish here, and we’re delighted to have the Cleantech Open recognize our success stories from across the region.”
The two semifinalists moving on to the national competition are Phytelligence of Pullman, Washington; and Helion Energy, of Redmond, Washington. Phytelligence also won the award for the best triple-bottom-line sustainability plan, a signature emphasis of the Cleantech Open.
The Technology Association of Oregon and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network are offering free one-year memberships to each of the Oregon semifinalists. Law firms Dorsey Whitney, Ater Wynne and Cairncross & Hempelmann joined PDC in sponsoring the regional Cleantech competition.