We’re known as “the city built in a forest,” and our clean tech economy is reminiscent of that nickname.
Clean tech is a broad industry that includes numerous sectors. Metro Atlanta is especially strong in the cleantech sectors of energy efficiency – recycling and solid waste, smart grid, clean technology services, and recycled products/materials. Metro Atlanta is a leader in the clean tech industry among U.S. metro areas, with more than 30,000 people working in a variety of clean tech and sustainability jobs, according to The Brookings Institution’s Sizing the Clean Economy study released July 2011. The study found that Atlanta – the seventh largest metro clean economy in the country – is well positioned to be a major hub in a variety of clean activities, and is the most diverse metropolitan area clean economy in the nation.
Cleantech Open, a not-for-profit organization based in Pala Alto, California, runs the world’s largest accelerator for clean tech startups. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.
Cleantech Open has several regional branches, including one in the southeastern United States.
Referred to as Cleantech Open Southeast, the program seeks to feed and boost the existing startup ecosystem within the region and is one of the largest hubs in the Cleantech Open. CTO Southeast accepts applicants between January and May of each program year and a preliminary judging round determines the Semi-Finalist Team who will participate in the national Cleantech Open accelerator program. Semi-Finalist companies have an opportunity to compete for regional prizes upwards of $20k and national prizes upwards of $200k.
In 2014, CTO Southeast expanded its regional presence in Atlanta and approached the Metro Atlanta Chamber about partnering on a few events to raise visibility for the program among fast-growing clean tech companies and startups. Cleantech Open Southeast has already hosted two events in Atlanta with The Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Cleantech Leadership Council and Thompson & Hine LLC.
This week, Cleantech Open and GE Digital Energy will host its Mock Judging Event in preparation of the Southeast Regional Innovation Summit on Oct. 22-23 in Alexandria, Va. Sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Clean Tech Leadership Council, GE Digital Energy and Thompson Hine, LLC, the Mock Judging event in Atlanta will bring several clean tech companies from around the southeast to Atlanta. The companies, who are semifinalists in the 2014 national Cleantech Open Accellerator contest, will present business models and products before a select group of C-level executives representing large corporate firms in Atlanta. This will give the startups the opportunity to fine-tune presentation and business skills prior to the summit.