By Jerry Brown
The Cleantech Open Rocky Mountain region announced its three 2010 winners last week – a Utah company with a patented process for removing metals and inorganic waste from wastewater; a Texas company with technology for monitoring power-related electronics in solar, wind and electric vehicle applications; and a New Jersey company that builds solid-state storage devices for data centers.
Each of the regional winners will receive $30,000 in cash and in-kind prizes and advance to the Cleantech Open national finals to be held Nov. 17 in San Jose, California, where they’ll compete for a $250,000 top prize.
The winners are:
- INOTEC of Salt Lake City, which has developed a patented process for removing metals and inorganic waste from mining, petroleum energy, power generation and agricultural wastewater. CEO and Founder Jack Adams is a research professor at the University of Utah’s College of Mines & Earth Sciences and the technology was developed at the university. The company is targeting the mining industry as its initial market. “It feels great,” Adams said of winning. “We’re bootstrapping the company’s development right now and every bit of financing and support we can get fits right in there with our bootstrap model and will accelerate us even further.”
- pureSilicon of Pine Brook, NJ, which produces non-volatile, solid-state storage devices for use in data centers. pureSilicon says one of its storage devices can replace up to 1,000 disc drives and that data centers can reduce energy consumption 75 percent and floor space by 93 percent with its drives. “I’m pretty blown away by the fact that we won,” said CEO Jason Breakstone. “We were up against some pretty steep competition.” Breakstone said pureSilicon is operational “so any additional funds will be greatly beneficial to us.” He said the cash his company receives will go to product development, paying off debt or to help with cash flow. The company plans to move to Colorado next year.
- infiniRel Corporation of Frisco, TX, which sells sensor technology that monitors the power-related electronics used in solar, wind and electric vehicle applications. The company says the customer payback for its technology is one to three years. “It feels great,” CEO and Founder Bert Wank said of being named one of the region’s three winners. “But it’s a very, very humbling experience. And it’s a bit of a surprise that we made the cut. We were competing against some incredibly polished and experienced companies.”