Three Cleantech Open Alumni Startups to Watch

Product Flurry

Last week, Fast Company had the chance to sit in on a venture-capital pitch session featuring a number of startups that have in the past participated in the Cleantech Open, a series of competitions that provides funding and advice to cleantech startups. Below, we look at three of the companies with the most compelling pitches.

Fenix International

This startup designs distributed, small-scale micro power generation and storage solutions in a box. Fenix's ReadySet, a durable box that can be charged with a bicycle generator, a solar panel, or from the grid, is designed for cell phone battery charging (and other small-scale electronic charging applications) in the developing world. The box will cost just under $100, but Fenix plans to sell it through mobile-phone operators who can potentially increase their revenue by distributing it to customers who might not otherwise have access to electricity (the more people who keep their phones charged, the more people using their phones in the first place).


This startup sells hydrokinetic turbines that derive clean energy from water currents. The Hydrovolts turbine can be deployed into a canal in an hour, at which point it produces between one and 25 kW of power, or enough to power one to three average American homes (or a village in a developing country.) The turbine is modular, scalable, and can fit inside a shipping container. A medium-sized turbine will go for $20,000 when Hydrovolts begins commercial sales in late 2011.

BioVantage Resources

BioVantage offers algae-based bioremediation systems in wastewater lagoons--essentially, the startup offers unique "algae cocktails" that clean contaminated water. The company has raised $1 million in 18 months, and estimates that there is a $6 billion market for its services in the U.S. alone. The company won its first three deals in the past two weeks--meaning its algae cocktails will go to market soon.

Follow Fast Company on Twitter. Ariel Schwartz can be reached by email.

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  • Karen Jackson

    If you want to meet with Cleantech entrepreneurs, visit the national
    and international finalists in the Cleantech Open's global search for the most
    promising clean technologies.  Finalists are gathering from Nov.15-16th at the Global Forum
    & Gala. Winners will be decided and for the first time ever, there will be
    public judging and critique,


    The Cleantech
    Open will announce the grand prize winner of $250,000, winners from five US
    regions, and attendees will get to participate in the “People’s Choice Award”
    by voting.  These announcements
    always prove to be great cause for celebration so the after-party Gala
    Fundraiser with the winners is not to be missed on the 16th.


    The Forum also
    includes Keynotes, Networking, Expo and more- join the 1,500 attendees at the
    forefront of cleantech innovation!


    For more