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The Industry Growth Forum, hosted by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), this week attracted more than 400 investors, entrepreneurs, technologists and thought leaders to Denver, Colo. Three companies were honored with Best Venture and Outstanding Venture Awards at the conclusion of the event.
The two-day forum highlighted clean energy technology and business developments. In addition to hearing business case presentations from 30 clean energy companies, participants were engaged by a comprehensive lineup of speakers, in-depth panel discussions, and facilitated networking opportunities.
"The convergence of R&D success, entrepreneurial innovation, and a receptive investment community will accelerate advanced energy technologies into the marketplace," said Bill Farris, NREL Associate Laboratory Director for Innovation, Partnering and Outreach. "Relationships built and information shared at the Industry Growth Forum are vital to the advancement of these technologies. We are pleased to be able to leverage the convening power of the laboratory to facilitate this essential discourse."
Since 2003, the presenting early stage, pre-commercial, and expanding cleantech companies have collectively raised more than $5 billion in growth financing.
Three entrepreneurial companies were singled out from the 30 competitively-selected presenters to win the 2017 Clean Energy Venture Awards. Award winners will receive in-kind commercialization support to help increase their chances of becoming commercially successful.
Entic, Inc. received the top prize for the Best Venture award. This Pembroke Pines, Fla. based company's cloud-based subscription software platform for commercial buildings provides operational visibility into energy-consuming systems and analytics-driven optimization of HVAC central plants, allowing building owners/operators to harness significant efficiency benefits that translate to significant bottom line financial impact.
An Outstanding Venture award went to EnergySage. This Boston, Mass. company provides an online comparison-shopping marketplace for rooftop and community solar.
Another Outstanding Venture award went to Vartega Carbon Fiber Recycling. This Golden, Colo. based company has developed a chemistry-based process to recycle uncured carbon fiber manufacturing scrap and expired material.
The forum is managed by NREL's Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (IEC), whose mission is to foster an ongoing and extensive connection with the early-stage business community. New to the forum this year, the IEC launched Emerging Markets day. The one-day program connected emerging market-based entrepreneurs from around the world with the investment community. The inaugural event provided participants an opportunity to network with investors and other emerging market startup companies while they prepared for the forum.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.