Strongest Clean Technology Innovators Win Northeast Regional Business Competition

Four companies receive $30,000 in prizes and highlight the strength of Northeast cleantech innovation cluster. Sponsors include Chevron, Wells Fargo, University of Phoenix, Arrow, Parc, MassCEC, NYSERDA, National Grid, NECEC Institute, Foley Hoag, Novozymes, Mintz Levin, Saint-Gobain, EnerNOC, Commerce RI, Silicon Valley Bank, Maine Technology Institute, Plano and Simple, Future360, and Greentown Labs


BOSTON, Oct. 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - Cleantech Open Northeast, the Northeast Division of Cleantech Open, the world's largest cleantech accelerator, announced four Regional Winners today: Drinkwell (Boston, MA), ecoVent (Boston, MA), Full Circle Feed (Syracuse, NY), and Sol Power (Somerville, MA). The Regional Winners each receive prizes of $30,000 in cash and in-kind services. These companies will also represent the region at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Francisco, CA on November 12th and 13th, where they will compete with emerging environmental and energy technology firms throughout the nation for the National Grand Prize of $200,000 in cash and services.

The four regional winners were selected and announced by a judging panel of top cleantech business leaders at the annual Northeast Innovation Expo and Awards Gala. More than 300 people from across the region, including entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials attended the event, which was held October 28th at the Boston University School of Management. The judging panel included Marcy Reed, President of National Grid in Massachusetts and Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).

"National Grid is excited to see the abundance of emerging cleantech talent coming out of the Northeast region," said Reed. "Innovative technologies that enable customers to take control of their energy usage, reduce consumption through energy efficiency and provide more diverse tools for renewable power generation will shape the evolution of electricity and natural gas systems in the 21st century."

The winning teams demonstrated both geographic diversity and product diversity, with three winners – Drinkwell, ecoVent, and SolPower – hailing from the Boston area and one winner – Full Circle Feed – headquartered in Syracuse. Of the 32 companies graduating the 2014 Cleantech Open Northeast accelerator, 12 were based in New York, 11 were based in Massachusetts, 4 were based in NJ, 2 were based in Maine, and 1 was based in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island respectively.

In addition to the four main regional prizes, a special $5,000 Sustainability prize was given to Regional Winner Drinkwell, and a $5,000 Cleanweb award, co-sponsored by EnerNOC and Mintz Levin, was awarded to Regional Winner ecoVent. Other special prize winners included Wattlots (Millington, NJ), who received the $1,000 'Rookie of the Year' award for most improved company over the course of the accelerator. Avalanche Energy (Somerville, MA) and Pure Quantum (Ithaca, NY) both received the $1,000 'Rising Star' award for best early-stage technology with impressive future potential. Toilets for People (New York City, NY) received the $1,000 'Global Impact' award for their contribution to worldwide sanitation efforts. Thermolift (Stony Brook, NY) received the Audience Choice Award, after receiving the most votes from the live audience.

"This year was a banner year for Cleantech Open Northeast with an impressive and diverse pool of companies – we saw a rise in participants with a cleanweb focus had more water technologies than ever and saw a rise in participants with international markets," said Katherine MacDonald, Regional Director of Cleantech Open Northeast. "The strength of our winning teams is a clear reflection of the growing strength of the sector as a whole, and the support our sponsors and community have lent to catalyze innovation in this industry".

"By supporting our emerging cleantech companies, we can drive innovation, create good local jobs and help grow the promising ideas of today into the leading companies of tomorrow," said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton. "We are proud to support Cleantech Open Northeast in its mission to nurture cleantech innovation in Massachusetts and the entire Northeast region."

"New York continues to provide a strong showing of talented entrepreneurs to the Cleantech Open Northeast. These innovative businesses exemplify some of the many ways New York State is growing its clean energy economy under Governor Cuomo," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "Congratulations to the winners of this year's Open, and we wish them luck as they advance to the national competition."

About the Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Winners

Boston, MA
Agriculture- Water- Waste
Drinkwell is tackling the largest mass poisoning in human history, the arsenic and fluoride water crisis affecting over 200 million people in India and Bangladesh alone. Drinkwell organizes existing community resources into franchises to create water businesses in arsenic and fluoride-affected areas by providing water filtration technology and business tools. Drinkwell taps into the entrepreneurial spirit within communities to create jobs, generate income, and improve health outcomes.

Boston, MA
Energy Efficiency
Every room of your home is a little different, but even the smartest thermostat thinks they're all the same. That means some rooms are freezing cold while others are uncomfortably hot. ecoVent solves that problem by replacing your old forced air vents with new wireless vents that can open and close automatically to direct warm or cold air where it's needed most. It easily installs in hours, immediately increases comfort and pays for itself in less than three years through massive energy savings.

Full Circle Feed
Syracuse, NY
Agriculture- Water- Waste
Full Circle Feed creates nutritious dog treats by innovatively using discarded people food from institutional dining halls. Our dog biscuits fill a niche by providing a sustainable and environmentally-friendly treat where none exists on the market today. Our committed approach to using food leftovers as the main ingredient results in healthy treats that are irresistible to dogs and cost-friendly to their owners.

Sol Power
Somerville, MA
Energy Distribution & Storage
Outdoor charging needs are rapidly growing as 91% of adult Americans own a cell phone. Mobile computing is quickly becoming the dominant way in which Americans access information. Today, however, we are limited to indoor charging options. So whenever we're enjoying the outdoors and running low on charge in our devices, we're forced back inside in search of an electrical outlet. So we developed a solar charging stations for phones, that is free to end users and monetized through on station.

About Cleantech Open

Cleantech Open Northeast is the Northeast Division of Cleantech Open, 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 cleantech companies. Nationally since 2006, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services. During that time, our more than 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.

For more information, visit, and

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and develop an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it 'joins everything up'.

In the northeast U.S., we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to more than 3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving more than 3 million customers in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

For more information please visit our website:

Follow us on Twitter at @nationalgridus, watch us on You Tube, friend us on Facebook, Find our photos on Instagram.

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