The Cleantech Open is the world’s oldest and largest business accelerator for Cleantech startups.   Its target is the founders of new cleantech companies.  Now in its tenth year, the program provides these founders with three months of mentoring, workshops, training, investor introductions, and prizes of cash, services and investment. 

At the program final Gala in January 2019 in Los Angeles, the best plans, pitches and teams will receive awards and of course media – it’s in LA after all. Over one thousand startup founders have graduated from the CTO program and many have become successful.  The CTO is managed by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) which offers Southern California companies help with their cleantech ambitions.  LACI bought the CTO program from its founders, as well as its 10-year data history.  That should interest those studying cleantech programs! Hydrobee SPC has been accepted into the 2018 Cleantech Open. 

I’m delighted to have two “official” mentors for the program:   Dr. John Foggiato, and Joe Heaney.  John got his PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and has over thirty years of technical and marketing experience in the Silicon Valley region.  Joe has been CEO of 6 companies with sales up to $100M by his food industry firms and is an active leader at Harvard Business School Angels of Northern California.  This group makes 4-6 investments a year in early-stage companies. John and Joe are great examples of why startup founders should enter every affordable contest/program they can!   It’s the people you meet.  The organizers, volunteers and funders of these programs have the smarts and money anyone needs to have a better chance of success.   When the odds are about ten-to-one against success for startups, every person who helps is critical.  If you also win a contest, hooray!   Try like hell to win so you impress the mentors and judges.  If they like you, they might invest even if you don’t win an award. Meanwhile, they’ll give you all the advice you can absorb.

We’re looking forward to meeting lots of people in this year’s Cleantech Open in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.  I’m happy to help connect any friends in the Pacific Northwest to the CTO leadership and the LA Cleantech Incubator team in LA.