If you want to know what enviro startups Silicon Valley movers and shakers think could be the next big green thing, the California Clean Tech Open is a good leading indicator. Last night in San Francisco the Open named six winners in its second annual startup competition. Each winner receives a $100,000 "startup in a box" package that includes $50,000 in cash from such sponsors as Google (GOOG), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Lexus (TM) and California’s Big Three utilities – PG&E (PCG), Southern California Edison (EIX) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SRE). The winners also get $50k worth of legal, marketing, accounting and public relations services from such heavyweights as Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The opportunity to mingle with the entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and potential clients who judge the contest probably represents the biggest win of all for these startups. Now the winners:
AMD Smart Power Award
The Lucid Design Group of Oakland, Calif., takes a Web 2.0 approach to environmental monitoring, providing real-time feedback on a building or home’s energy and water usage through an online dashboard. The idea: people will be motivated to cut their electricity and water consumption when they see how much and when power is being used by various appliances.
ENVIRON Foundation and Grundfos Air, Water and Waste Award
Overland Park, Kan., startup Microvi Biotech is using biotechnology to treat waste water, sewage and control pollution.
Google Green Building Award
BuildFast of San Carlos, Calif., makes environmentally sensitive prefab housing kits to erect buildings in disaster zones or in low-income areas.
Lexus Transportation Award
Los Angeles’ Syncromatics is developing technology that uses GPS and mobile phone networks for real-time online tracking of buses to improve efficiency and cut fuel costs.
PG&E, SCE and SDG&E Renewables Award
Rohnert Park, Calif.-based 1-Solar
is designing lower-cost and longer-life power inverters for solar
arrays and other renewable energy systems. Inverters convert the direct
current produced by such systems into the alternating current used in
households and businesses.
PG&E, SCE and SDG&E Energy Efficiency Award
Nila of Sherman Oaks, Calif., makes LED lighting systems for Hollywood that it says consume 50 to 75 percent less electricity than traditional lighting used in the entertainment industry.