The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the 19 semifinalists for the 76West Clean Energy Competition, one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting entrepreneurs to build clean energy businesses and economic development.
The 76West Competition is designed to further develop the community of clean energy technology innovators, industry experts, educators, and investors, as well as help startups get early users for their technologies. The 19 semifinalists, representing a diverse spectrum of clean energy technologies such as energy storage, energy efficiency, transportation and renewable energy, were chosen from a pool of 169 applicants based in 14 countries and 21 states. Each company will be paired with a mentor before pitching their companies to a panel of judges from August 7 through August 8 at Binghamton University.
The judges will then recommend the six finalists who will receive a total of $2.5 million in prizes. Winners will be revealed in the fall.
The 76West finalists are:
New York State
- Central New York
- Cortland Research, Homer
- Finger Lakes
- Paradigm of New York, Rochester
New York City
- Allied Microbiota, Brooklyn
- OXTO Energy, Queens
- Southern Tier
- Heat Inverse, Ithaca
- Syndem, Binghamton
- SunDesnity, Vestal
Western New York
- Clean Fiber, Buffalo
- Blue Frontier, Parkland, Florida
- Cambridge Crops, Somerville, Massachusetts
- FlashCharge Batteries, Aventura, Florida
- Optimus Technologies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- PolyJoule, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Prosumer Grid, Atlanta, Georgia
- Radical Plastics, Marblehead, Massachusetts
- Biolive, Istanbul, Turkey
- Carbon Upcycling Technologies, Calgary, Canada
- Ionomr, Vancouver, Canada
- SWTCH Energy, Toronto, Canada
What do the winners get?
This is the fourth round of 76West, a $20 million competition and support program administered by NYSERDA that launched in 2016. Each year applicants compete for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, 76West is providing $10 million in awards and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.
76West winners from the first three rounds, such as Rochester-based EkoStinger, Ireland-based Hub Controls and Dallas-based Skyven Technologies, have integrated and expanded their business operations into the Southern Tier. In total, previous grand prize and other 76West winners have raised $28 million in private capital, made multimillion-dollar investments in property and equipment in the region, and spent more than $1.7 million on key suppliers.
As a recipient of a 76West award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier economy, such as a supply chain partnership, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that helps spur economic development and creates jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.
New York State has made a significant investment in the Southern Tier to attract a talented workforce, grow business and drive innovation. The Southern Tier is already home to nation-leading companies and universities that are spurring innovation and leading global research. Last year, Governor Cuomo announced the opening of the first state-supported clean energy incubator in the Southern Tier to support the region’s growing clean energy ecosystem. With the addition of New York’s 76West winners, the Southern Tier continues to be a leading region for clean tech development and a model for other regions across the state and nationally.
— Solar Builder magazine