The Clean Tech Open, the innovation catalyst that helps great ideas become viable clean tech businesses, is challenging entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, government agencies, universities, and non-government organizations (NGOs) to participate in the Clean Tech Open's 100K Jobs Challenge—to create 100,000 clean tech jobs in America over the next five years.
The ambitious 100K Jobs Challenge is part of an aggressive expansion for Clean Tech Open, the leading clean tech business competition that has already helped more than 120 entrepreneurs launch companies—and subsequently raise over $125 million in external funding—since its inception in 2006.
This year, in addition to the original competition held in California, the Clean Tech Open is expanding to two new regions: the Rocky Mountain region, including Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Entrepreneurs will compete for a total of more than $1 million in prizes.
Early stage startups are invited to enter in six competition categories: renewable energy, transportation, smart power, energy efficiency, green building, and air/water/waste management.
Startups will compete first for regional prizes—$100,000 in cash and services to each of six winners in California; cash and services worth $50,000 to each of the three winners in both the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions. The 12 regional winners will then face off in a national competition, vying for the Grand Prize of $250,000 in cash and services.
The competition is now open in all regions, and startups have until May 30, 2009 to submit entries. Semifinalists will be selected in each category and invited to participate in the Clean Tech Open Accelerator program, where they will be given hands-on training and experience in all aspects of starting and sustaining their businesses from national experts in venture capital, business, law, marketing, and sustainability.