BOSTON, Mass., June 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - The Northeast Region of Cleantech Open, the world's oldest and largest competitive cleantech accelerator, announced 38 semifinalist participants today for the annual accelerator program and business competition. Please view the full list of accelerator participants here.
Selected from a record-breaking pool of 90 cleantech startup applicants, this year's Class of 2014 is the most geographically diverse to date. In addition, the number of start-ups developing web-based Information and Communications technologies ("cleanweb") increased from previous years. Beginning this month, the semifinalists will now begin a rigorous program connecting them with mentors, entrepreneurship education, visibility and opportunities to access capital.
"This year, the Northeast recruited more accelerator applicants than anywhere else in the country, and our historic numbers enabled us to become more selective and better serve our participating teams," said Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Director Katherine MacDonald. "The bar is higher than ever before, and we look forward to enabling these promising companies to make new connections, take advantage of existing resources, and fully participate in what our business accelerator and mentorship programs have to offer."
The annually-increasing geographic diversity of Cleantech Open Northeast's start-up pool was reflected in this year's field of semifinalists. Massachusetts and New York topped the charts producing 14 semifinalists each. New Jersey entered with a record four participants, Rhode Island and Maine each produced two, and Connecticut and Pennsylvania each produced one.
"Given Governor Cuomo's priority to scale up the state's clean-energy economy and make clean energy business more competitive, it is terrific to see the large number of New York-based companies selected as semifinalists in the Cleantech Open Accelerator this year," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "These companies are addressing head on the various challenges found within the energy sector by developing innovative and smart solutions to support a more reliable, resilient and dynamic energy system."
"These emerging cleantech companies are driving innovation across the region and Cleantech Open is the perfect home for entrepreneurship. We're thrilled to be a partner in helping support the leading clean energy companies of tomorrow," said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) Chief Executive Officer Alicia Barton. MassCEC is a Premier Regional Sponsor of Cleantech Open Northeast.
"At National Grid, we really get excited about getting involved with companies that are developing technologies that can help people and communities better manage the energy they use," said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid, a Premier Regional Sponsor of Cleantech Open Northeast. "We are excited to continue our partnership with Cleantech Open for a second year, and we look forward to continuing to work together to help these entrepreneurs get their ideas into the marketplace.''
While the majority of startups were based in the Energy Generation and Energy Efficiency categories, the Class of 2014 also saw more technological diversity than before. 29 percent of participants were categorized as Energy Generation, with 21 percent categorized as Energy Efficiency. The Information and Communications technology categories brought in 16 percent of startups, and the Agriculture, Water and Waste category was represented by 13 percent of participants.
The Energy Distribution and Storage category made of eleven percent of participating companies. Finally, the Transportation and Chemicals and Advanced Materials categories each produced five percent of participating teams. Notably, the Information and Communication technologies category and Energy Distribution categories have both doubled since 2013. The number of teams producing a software or service product as opposed to a hardware product remained steady at about 30 percent of total participants.
The 2014 accelerator participants will formally begin the program at the Cleantech Open East Coast Academy from June 17-18th, where they will hear from prominent speakers, receive specialized startup mentoring, and refine their business plans. For the first time, the East Coast Academy will be held at Barnard College in New York City during New York Energy Week, immediately preceding the New York Energy Week Cleantech Startup Showcase on the evening of June 18th.
The accelerator program will culminate with the Northeast Regional Final Judging and Awards Gala, to be held at the Boston University School of Management on October 27-28th, with the National Final Judging and Global Forum taking place from November 13-14th in San Jose, California.
About The Cleantech Open
The Cleantech Open is the world's largest cleantech accelerator and is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Over the past seven years, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services. During that time, our 880 alumni companies have raised more than $1 billion in external funding. Fueled by a network of more than 2,000 volunteers, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. Most recently, Cleantech Open Northeast has formed a strategic partnership with the NECEC Institute's new Cleantech Navigate Northeast program in order to better connect accelerator participants and alumni with financiers, strategic partners, and early adoption customers. For more information, visit http://www.cleantechopen.com, http://www.northeast.cleantechopen.com, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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