The Global Cleantech Open Ideas Competition was formally launched today in Silicon Valley as Jonathan Ortmans, president of Global Entrepreneurship Week, joined Rex Northen and Kevin Braithwaite of Cleantech Open for the announcement.
“A new popularity within the startup culture is attracting inventive minds from around the world to the challenges of meeting our energy needs in a sustainable fashion while enabling them to not just do good, but do well,” stated Ortmans. “The Ideas Competition is a perfect vehicle to engage aspiring entrepreneurs and tap into that passion.”
The Global Cleantech Open Ideas Competition is an official activity of Global Entrepreneurship Week which annually introduces millions of young people around the world to entrepreneurship. The competition aims to foster and highlight cleantech “big ideas” from forward-thinking entrepreneurs around the world, and to accelerate the discovery and development of groundbreaking cleantech solutions by working at a grassroots level.
“Our focus is on the intersection between entrepreneurship and cleantech: Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly the engine… [and] Cleantech is the major economic opportunity for the coming decades,” said Northen, executive director of the Cleantech Open.
The Ideas Competition is being run in 19 countries by GEW Hosts: Barbados, Brazil, Burkina Faso,Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Denmark, France, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands,New Zealand, Paraguay, Singapore, Spain, United States and Zambia.
National winners will represent their country at the Awards Gala in San Francisco, California on November 17 — during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Finalists’ ideas will be presented in a five-minute pitch in front of a crowd of 2,500 investors, entrepreneurs, sponsoring companies, corporations, members of academia, press, and others. The crowd will vote via text message for the “People’s Choice” worth $100,000 in marketing support, legal advising, conferencing services and more to turn the idea into a business.
CTO ANNOUNCES GRANT
The Cleantech Open also announced a grant from the Kauffman Foundation in support of its efforts.
“We have been working closely with the Kauffman Foundation for two years now, and are delighted to have their support,” said Northen. “The Cleantech Open is the largest organization of our kind anywhere in the world, and our partnership with Kauffman will help us increase both our reach and our impact as we work together to accelerate cleantech entrepreneurship.”
The grant supports an expansion of the Cleantech Open, an organization that provides education, business planning and mentoring of early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs.
“This emerging industry is essential to creating new jobs and boosting the economy,” said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “The Cleantech Open has established itself as a leader in supporting clean-technology startup entrepreneurs who are addressing challenges to starting companies in this industry.”