Denver OED to sponsor cleantech initiatives

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) announced on May 13, 2010 a one-year sponsorship of two leading business groups that are helping to nurture entrepreneurs and start-ups in Colorado’s burgeoning cleantech industry.

The Office of Economic Development grant will support local and regional work conducted by Cleantech Open, a national business plan competition that encourages the development of clean technology companies; and CleanLaunch Technology Incubator, which is designed to stimulate the development and success of early-stage companies that will provide the next generation of clean, renewable and efficient energy technologies.

“Cleantech represents an important economic opportunity and we are committed to making Denver a national leader,” said André Pettigrew, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic Development. “By supporting the organizations that are helping cleantech entrepreneurs, we are planting the seeds for long-term economic growth and the success of a sustainable economy.”

Two Organizations; One Mission
Both CleanLaunch and the Cleantech Open seek to create the infrastructure for a thriving regional industry driven by cleantech innovation. 

CleanLaunch was started last July. The public-private partnership includes Burt Technologies, Clifton Gunderson, Fairfield and Woods, P.C., Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber and Schreck, Setter Roche, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Commerce/EDA. Early-stage businesses working with CleanLaunch include GoSmart Technologies, P4P Energy, CW Industries, In2 Networks and Bye Energy.

“The City and County of Denver’s support of CleanLaunch further demonstrates the multi-jurisdictional cooperation surrounding renewable energy in the region, and Mayor John Hickenlooper continues to be a leader who thinks beyond traditional boundaries to achieve a greater good,”  said Stephen Miller, President/CEO CleanLaunch.

The Cleantech Open made its first foray in the Rocky Mountain region in 2009 and has attracted broad regional support for its programs for cleantech entrepreneurs. Regional winners of the competition, included Cool Energy and New Sky Energy of Boulder, Colo. and SunTrac Solar of Golden, Colo.

The Cleantech Open has helped connect entrepreneurs with the expertise, talent, and funding needed to create successful, sustainable businesses. Participants in the program benefit from a blend of mentoring, business-school-class training, and an opportunity to win $30,000 in funding and in-kind donations on a regional level, as well as compete for a national grand prize—a “startup in a box” consisting of cash and services valued up to $250,000.  Entrepreneurs have until May 22 to register for this year’s competition. More information on the competition is available at http://www.cleantechopen.com/app.cgi/content/competition/business/index.

“Mayor John Hickenlooper’s support of the Cleantech Open is yet another example of promoting more job growth for our new clean energy economy here in Colorado,” said Richard Franklin, chair of the Cleantech Open, Rocky Mountain chapter, based in Denver.