Energy Management Startup Wins 2009 CleanTech Open

The Cleantech Open crowned EcoFactor, an entrant in the Smart Power category from California, as winner of the 2009 Cleantech Open, a business competition created to find, fund, and foster startup clean technology companies. EcoFactor has designed a software system that communicates with home thermostats to reduce energy use. EcoFactor won $250,000 in cash and services.

The competition also honored two runners-up; Alphabet Energy, a waste-heat recapture venture, and my personal favorite, MicroMidas, a company with technology to transform sewage into plastic.

The Open itself was limited to the entries from California, the Rocky Mountain Region, and the Pacific Northwest. However, a separate, parallel competition, run with the help of the Kauffman Foundation, offered a prize of $100,000 in services to entries from around the world. The winner in this, the Global Cleantech Open Ideas competition, was Replenish Energy of Puerto Rico, a company that uses micro algae as a source of fuel.

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