Clean Tech Open 2008 Tees Up Six Winning Startups

Clean Tech Open 2008 Tees Up Six Winning Startups

Startups ranging from a firm that helps data centers operate with greater energy efficiency to a maker of "high performance, consumer friendly diapers" are among the six winners of the 2008 California Clean Tech Open.

The annual competition, now in its third year, seeks to identify the best-in-class cleantech business concepts in each of six categories — and provides the winners with tools and resources to take their ideas from the conceptual stage to the marketplace.

The winners are:
* In the air, water and waste category: Over the Moon Diapers, a San Francisco enterprise that says its didies offer "substantial energy savings to both diaper services and consumers, and (are) made almost entirely of recycled and recyclable fabrics."  
* In the energy efficiency category: Viridis Earth, which has developed a $350 device that the firm says can improve the efficiency of residential air conditioners by at least 20 percent.
* In the green building category: BottleStone, a Los Altos Hills business whose ceramic stone surface material is 80 percent recycled waste glass.
* In the renewables category, Focal Point Energy of Mountain View captures the power of the sun using thin flexible reflective membranes to produce hot water and steam for industrial use.
* In the smart power award: Power Assure of Santa Clara makes on-demand energy efficiency management software for data centers.
* In the transportation category: ElectraDrive of San Francisco specializes in converting conventional cars and light trucks to electric vehicles in a swift and inexpensive adaptation process.

Each winner receives a prize package worth $100,000: $50,000 in cash and another $50,000 in business services including office space for a year and legal, recruiting, accounting, public relations, insurance and marketing help tailored for an early-stage company.

Winners will also be given access to San Jose's leading incubator programs. That access embodies the San Jose Prize for Green Vision, which was added to the prize package this year and announced at the awards ceremony Thursday at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed played a key role in adding the new dimension to the prize package by brokering partnerships between his city, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, the California Clean Tech Open, the Environmental Business Cluster and the San Jose BioCenter. Reed is the architect of his city's Green Vision, an ambitious environmental program that includes establishing San Jose as the world's cleantech capital.