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Crowning the Clean Tech Stars

Can a prize-granting contest spur the development of technology that helps the environment? The winners of this year's California Clean Tech Open sure hope so

5 min read

Last November, two electrical engineers attending a seminar in Palo Alto, Calif., on environmentally beneficial technology decided that they personally could make a difference. Laurent Pacalin and Michael Santullo didn’t have money to invest or a big company behind them, but they had an idea: they would hold a contest.

In January, they started raising money with the help of the MIT Club of Northern California, and in March, they announced the establishment of the California Clean Tech Open, in Palo Alto, with US $500 000 in prizes. They brought in advisors and judges who had themselves launched new technologies and got San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to sign on as host of the launch.

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Greg Mably


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