Clean Energy Venture Summit Draws Record Crowd: Showcase of New Technology Highlights Texas’ Clean-Tech Future

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The fourth annual Clean Energy Venture Summit (CEVS), a partnership between The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) and Austin Energy drew an eye-opening 400 attendants, making it one of the largest clean-tech summits to be held in Texas.

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We appreciate the opportunity the summit has given us to meet investors, utilities and potential customers, and we look forward to participating in the Pecan Street Project, Austin's exciting business model for advanced energy projects and solutions.

The fourth annual Clean Energy Venture Summit (CEVS), a partnership between The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) and Austin Energy drew an eye-opening 400 attendants, making it one of the largest clean-tech summits to be held in Texas.

During the summit, top green- and clean-tech visionaries from across the country, including one from Israel and another from Canada, discussed new technologies and explored efforts by local companies to make Texas the renewable energy leader for the 21st century. Topics included “the utility of the future”, green buildings, clean transportation and the smart grid.

Former Shell Oil Company executive and author, John Hofmeister, presented the keynote address for the summit, discussing how he feels the government is working against clean, affordable energy solutions and how citizens can change the course through grass-roots efforts.

“The overwhelming support of this conference highlights the public and private efforts to find solutions for America’s dependence on foreign energy and the growing carbon footprint as Texas enters a new age of energy leadership,” said Isaac Barchas, director, Austin Technology Incubator and conference organizer. “These technologies have global applicability and are of great interest to consumers, utilities and investors.”

Twenty start-up companies competed for an opportunity to deploy in Austin’s $29 million smart-grid and smart-home demonstration project. CEVS serves as a gateway for early-stage companies to participate in the nationally acclaimed Pecan Street Project Energy Internet Demonstration, a non-profit smart grid and clean energy research and development organization headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin.

The grand prize winner was Ener-G-Rotors, based in Rotterdam, New York, which specializes in a commercialized device which turns low temperature heat into electricity.

"It's an honor to be chosen as Austin's Clean Energy Venture Summit 2010 Grand Prize Winner, considering the great companies that were chosen to present at this year's venue. This is just one more validation of the need and importance of the low temperature waste heat solution we bring to our industrial customers,” said Michael Newell, CEO, Ener-G-Rotors. “We appreciate the opportunity the summit has given us to meet investors, utilities and potential customers, and we look forward to participating in the Pecan Street Project, Austin's exciting business model for advanced energy projects and solutions.”

The finalists included:
Company                                     Headquarters                                Web site
Microstaq                                     Austin, Texas                                http://www.microstaq.com
Enertaq                                      Chevy Chase, Maryland                 http://www.enertaq.com
Pythagoras Solar                        San Mateo, California                    http://www.pythagoras-solar.com
Tigo Energy                                 Los Gatos, California                    http://www.tigoenergy.com

The Pecan Street Project’s focus areas include: energy management, building-integrated energy efficiency technologies, smart appliances, energy information systems, smart resource management (electricity, water, gas and waste), distributed energy storage and distributed fueling for transportation. Summit judges evaluated entries based on innovation, overall market opportunity, stage of development, intellectual property position, resource requirements, environmental impact and potential return on investment.

"I was really pleased with the companies at this years' CEVS summit. The stage and sector diversity allowed for a wide variety of interesting companies.  The partnership with the Pecan Street Project created a dynamic that kept the discussions relevant and impactful," said Mike Dauber, Battery Ventures and CEVS 2010 Judge.

Leading venture capitalist, angel and institutional investors that attended the summit included DFJ Mercury, Central Texas Angel Investors (CTAN), LiveOak Venture Partners, Houston Angel Network, NTAN, CVAN, Silverton Partners, Battery Ventures, Yellowstone Capital Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, TKO Energy, Applied Ventures, 21 Ventures, Access Venture Partners, Cottonwood Technology Fund, Buffalo Jump Energy Corp., Business Earth, King Hill Capital, STARTech Early Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, NGEN Partners, Rockport Capital and Sail Venture Partners.

According to the Cleantech Venture Network, clean-tech has become one of the top three venture capital investment categories in the United States with $2.02 billion invested in clean technologies last year. Texas companies received approximately $211 million.

About the Austin Technology Incubator
The Austin Technology Incubator is a nonprofit unit of The University of Texas at Austin that harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructure support to its member companies to help them transition from early stage ventures to successful technology businesses.  Since its founding in 1989, ATI has worked with over 200 companies, helping them raise close to $750 million in investor capital.  ATI is a key program of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.  For more information, please visit:  http://www.ati.utexas.edu .

About Austin Energy
Austin Energy is the nation’s 10th largest community-owned electric utility. Austin Energy powers the capital city of Texas through a diverse generation mix including nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewable energy sources. Located in Austin, TX, Austin Energy created the top performing renewable energy program in the nation and is committed to helping Austin become the Clean Energy Capital of the World. The company owns the nation’s first and largest green building program and is home to one of the nation’s most comprehensive residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. 

For further information, please visit: http://www.AustinEnergy.com.

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