California's Cleantech Open Announces Awesome Innovation Finalists

cleantech open photo

Photo of Cleantech Open participants via jurvetson via Flickr Creative Commons

The Cleantech Open is an exciting event for sustainabile technology. It's an annual competition that brings brilliant ideas into daylight, and it's the world's largest business competition that focuses exclusively on sustainability. Innovators come out of the woodworks to take part, because winning -- or even being a finalist -- often means earning the attention needed from venture capitalists to get an idea off the ground. This year's entries definitely sound worthy, and cover everything from better building materials our of farm waste to revolutionary ways to clean water.
The competition is broken up into categories of sustainable innovation. This year's Cleantech Open Finalists are:

Air, Water and Waste: FogBusters - revolutionary technology for removing fat, oil and grease (FOG) from wastewater.

Energy Efficiency: Suntulit - smart, multi-zone HVAC system enhancement for homeowners with central forced-air systems.

Green Building: Stramit Strawboard - converts low-cost agricultural waste into high-value building board.

Renewable Energy: Pure Solar - laser-processing tool to produce an industry-standard c-Si wafer to increase efficiency for photo-voltaic cell manufacturers.

Smart Power: SmartSense - real-time fault detection, fault prediction and performance monitoring for electrical grids.

Transportation: Pressure Sentinel - automatic tire inflation system that eliminates the problem of under-inflated truck tires.

These ideas beat out 271 teams that submitted ideas, and 37 semifinalists. Each one already gets a prize package worth $30,000 in cash and in-kind services. But more importantly, they're getting recognition for their ideas that translates to exposure to VCs. It's kind of like American Idol -- you might still get a record deal even if you get voted out of the running. The Cleantech Open has helped raise over $280 million and around 2,000 green jobs thanks to the competition and its push for the best ideas for a sustainable future.

The winner will be announced in November, and we're looking forward to seeing which innovation will get the grand prize of an additional $20,000 in cash and in-kind services.

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