Another year, another CleanTech Open. Except the prizes keep getting larger, and isn’t there a saying about money motivating creativity?
To be announced this morning by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Clean Tech Open co-founder Mike Santullo, the 4th event will include $1 million in prizes. It also expands from California into two more regions, the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest.
The business-proposal competition awards winners in six green categories, including renewable energy, transportation and green building. Winning proposals get $50,000 in cash, and another $50,000 in services including office space, PR and legal help and mentoring.
Past winners have raised more than $125 million from investors. The list includes Adura Technologies, Cool Earth Solar and Green Volts.
The group, which also announced a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, issued a challenge today: For entrepreneurs, VCs, university, governments and non-profits to creat 100,000 cleantech jobs in the next 5 years.
“Entrepreneurs are the key to re-building the nation’s economy; their optimism and innovation is exactly what the country needs right now,” said Santullo. “Many participants in the Clean Tech Open are first-time entrepreneurs — they have a great idea, but could really use some assistance. This is where the Clean Tech Open steps in: we connect entrepreneurs with the expertise, talent, and funding to create a successful, sustainable business.”
Here’s a link to the Clean Tech Open Web site.