Winners Announced for Colorado Cleantech Industry Awards Celebration Honoring Leadership in Advancing Cleantech

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Eight Winners Announced as Leaders in Cleantech Job Creation, Entrepreneurship, Political Leadership and Financing

The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) presents awards to eight recipients today at its annual "Colorado Cleantech Industry Awards Celebration," honoring leadership in advancing cleantech job creation, entrepreneurship, political leadership and financing.

“The winning companies span the cleantech spectrum, representing the most innovative and entrepreneurial technologies and individuals in Colorado’s cleantech community,” says Chris Shapard, CCIA’s Executive Director. “We want to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists and our appreciation for their work in growing and expanding the dynamic cleantech industry.”

The winners were selected based on many factors, including but not limited to, the company’s ability to create an innovative clean technology that has a viable market strategy, the executive team’s ability to raise funding to support the technology and the company’s statewide job creation. Winners were selected by a group of industry peers ranging from venture capitalists and corporate strategists to current and former technology CEOs.

CCIA’s Leadership in Advancing Cleantech Awards Winners Are:

High Impact Cleantech Company of the Year: Gevo
Gevo is a leading renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company developing bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based products. So far this year, Gevo has had a successful $123 million IPO, undertaken two commercial-scale projects and developed a number of strategic relationships with global leaders in fuels and chemicals. Early stage investors in Gevo include Khosla Ventures, Total, and Lanxess. The company plans to produce isobutanol, a versatile platform chemical for the liquid fuels and petrochemical market. It can also be further processed into jet fuel and feedstocks for the production of synthetic rubber, plastics, and polyesters. With operations in Colorado and Minnesota, Gevo employs more than 100 people and has hired 17 people so far this year. Visit: -

Breakout Cleantech Company of the Year: OPX Biotechnologies
OPXBIO uses its proprietary leading EDGE™ (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to manufacture renewable bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return, and more sustainable than existing petro-based products. With unprecedented speed and capital efficiency, in just 18 months OPXBIO developed and piloted the microbe and bioprocess that will produce its first renewable chemical product – BioAcrylic – at 25 percent lower cost than petro-acrylic and with a 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In 2011, OPXBIO began collaborating with The Dow Chemical Company to develop an industrial-scale process for producing BioAcrylic. Founded in 2007, OPXBIO has raised $60 million with venture investors Altira Group, Braemar Energy Ventures, DBL Investors, Mohr Davidow Ventures, US Renewables Group and X/Seed Capital. OPX employs 58 people and has hired eight people so far this year. View:

Emerging Cleantech Company of the Year: RavenBrick
RavenBrick™ is a Colorado-based cleantech company that has developed innovative solar-control windows that can reduce energy costs by up to 50 percent in most buildings. Founded four years ago, RavenBrick’s windows automatically reduce the amount of light transmitted at certain temperatures. With manufacturing based in Denver, and plans for significant expansion, RavenWindow™ is the company’s signature product. This adaptive smart-window, for use in commercial, residential and industrial buildings, uses RavenBrick's thermochromic technology to reflect the sun's heat outside when it's hot, and lets the sunshine in when it's cool. It saves up to 30 percent on heating and cooling year round, without using electricity or hard-wired control systems. The windows were installed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., in one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world. RavenBrick has grown to a company of 14 employees and plans to hire extensively in 2012. The company has raised $6 million in capital from Colorado based angels and VCs. Visit:

Colorado Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year: Adrian Tuck, Tendril
As the CEO of Tendril, Adrian Tuck is driving the development of technology that is changing how the world interacts with energy. With Adrian’s foresight and strategic investments, Tendril has established itself as the clear frontrunner in energy management technology. Since joining the company, Adrian has raised more than $50 million for research and development to solve what he calls very difficult IT "plumbing" problems. It was his determination to overcome initial hurdles and his ability to express his vision to others that helped him succeed in such a stunning fashion with Tendril. In addition to leading Tendril to success, Adrian is a persistent and diligent smart grid advocate on Capitol Hill and various public utility commissions and he has testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee as well as the Federal Communications Commission. Currently, Adrian serves as a regular advisor to the White House on the topic of the smart grid. Through Adrian’s vision, persistence and entrepreneurial spirit, he is driving revolutionary change in the energy industry

National Cleantech Leadership: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Backed by 34 years of achievement, NREL leads the way in helping meet the growing demand for clean energy. At the core of this strategic direction are NREL's research and technology development competencies. These areas span from understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of these resources to renewable electricity and fuels, and ultimately to the use of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles. In its efforts to support renewable energy and economic development in Colorado, NREL recently jointly created the Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED) with the State of Colorado and affiliated stakeholders. By providing a unique facility where organizations, industry, researchers, scientists, and engineers can interact and discuss important technical, business, market, and policy issues with entrepreneurs, investors, analysts, and policy makers, CREED connects the cleantech economic development puzzle pieces in Colorado. Visit:

Political Advocate of the Year: The Honorable Cheri Gerou
State Representative Cheri Gerou championed CCIA’s keystone legislation, SB 47, the Innovation Reinvestment Act, last session. The Innovation Reinvestment Act will direct new corporate sales tax revenue -- based on industry growth -- to Colorado startups in the clean technology and biotech industries. It is projected to generate several million to industry startups in its first year in 2013-2014. Rep. Gerou was an invaluable lead sponsor whose clear articulation of complex issues was key in garnering state House support. She worked in a textbook bipartisan-style with the lead state Senate sponsor, Rollie Heath, of Boulder. This complex piece of legislation was successful due in large part to the respect she’s earned from her colleagues.

Governor's Award for Excellence in Cleantech Leadership: Paul Nelson, Clean Range Ventures
Paul Nelson is a managing director at Clean Range Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Boulder focused on bringing investment capital into Colorado to be used by seed and early stage cleantech companies. Paul began his career by forming Natural Fuels Company, then growing the company as a joint venture between Xcel Energy and the Colorado Interstate Gas Company. In 2000, he founded Blue Energy & Technologies LLC, raised $10.5 million in strategic and venture capital and purchased NFC outright. In 2006, Paul helped initiate the legislative effort to create and fund the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory with $6 million from the State of Colorado. He was the founding Managing Director for the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion (CRSP), a research center of the Collaboratory, and raised more than $1 million in research co-funding from industry members. Paul is a founding member of CCIA and serves as a co-chair of the public policy committee. Paul continues to serve as a senior advisor to CRSP and is on the advisory board for the CU Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. Visit:

Cleantech Champion: Fort Collins Utilities
Fort Collins is at the forefront of grid modernization because of visionary leadership at the Fort Collins Utilities. Working closely with local clean energy businesses, Colorado State University and policy makers, Fort Collins Utilities is committed to integrating renewable energy assets onto the grid. For example, the utility offers rebates to its customers for installing renewable energy, as well as for participating in community-based energy reduction goals such as FortZED, the Fort Collins Zero Energy District. In 1984, Fort Collins Utilities was recognized with a Department of Energy Energy Innovation Award. In 1998, it was the first utility in Colorado -- and one of the first in the nation -- to offer wind power to its customers. In 2007, Fort Collins Utilities received one of only nine grants from the DOE to test renewable and distributed systems integration live on its grid. The demonstration took place this summer and results are being calculated. In 2009, Fort Collins adopted a comprehensive energy policy with aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals with a 2050 target. Visit:
The Colorado Cleantech Award Celebration, presented by Cooley, will be held Nov. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt in Denver. The event is sold out. For more information, visit:

About CCIA
The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association represents the interests of the state’s cleantech industry. Its mission is to further establish Colorado as a world leader in clean technology by providing representation and advocacy, a unified voice, relevant programming and capacity development. For more information, visit


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