The 2017 Cleantech Open-Midwest Semi-Finalists Have Been Announced!

Posted by Steve Webster on

Category: Midwest

Press Release Announcing the 2017 Semi-Finalists of the Cleantech Open-Midwest

May 25, 2017

The Midwest Region of the Cleantech Open is very pleased to announce our 25 semi-finalists for the 2017 Cleantech Open-Midwest accelerator! Selected from a pool of over 120 candidates the 2017 teams hail from 10 of the 13 Cleantech Open-Midwest states including Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, Iowa, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. And significantly 20% of the business teams are led by student CEO’s and 25% of the teams are led by female CEO’s.

"The 2017 semi-finalists are outstanding with high quality companies in diverse technologies, industry sectors, and stage of business." said Sue Marshall, Chair of Judging for the Cleantech Open-Midwest.  Marshall adds, "We anticipate tremendous growth in these businesses as they participate in a three-day entrepreneurship academy in Boston or Silicon Valley, work with their carefully chosen mentors, attend our business clinic in Minneapolis and proceed through final judging during our Innovation Summit.”

“It's clear to me that the Cleantech Open-Midwest is moving companies with globally important missions to make larger impacts on the world," said Ian Rodricks, Recruiting Chair of the Cleantech Open-Midwest.  Rodricks adds, “Each Cleantech Open business team is focused on building their clean technology business idea into a clean technology employer. “

On behalf of the Cleantech Open-Midwest Board of Advisors congratulations to the 2017 Cleantech Open-Midwest Semi-finalists!

For more information please visit the Cleantech Open-Midwest website. Other questions, please contact Steve Webster, Executive Director, at

Cleantech Open-Midwest 2017 Teams:


Plasma Stream Technologies Inc.

The revolutionary patented technology allows trucks to substantially reduce its fuel expenditures by using plasma (4th state of matter). The technology streamlines airflow around the vehicle thereby reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing fuel efficiency. By using this technology (at its current development point), large tractor trailers can reduce their fuel costs up to 15%.



Reinvia is an innovative food waste solution that creates environmentally and economically sustainable products and services. Through an exclusive licensing agreement, we are able to process separated food waste using a carbon neutral drying technology, leaving a nutritious, dry, and pathogen free byproduct in minutes. This byproduct is then immediately usable as organic compost and has the ability to be further manipulated into other products, such as commercial fish and swine food.



Elinor Specialty Coatings

We create safer, longer-lasting coatings to protect aluminum, magnesium and bronze by combining novel engineering and chemistry. With expertise in specialty metals and corrosion, and extensive backgrounds in coatings and nanotechnology, we look at every problem as an opportunity to introduce cleaner technology that's better for the environment, for applicators, for manufacturers and for users. Our outstanding chromium-free innovations have proven performance.


Switched Source

Switched Source is determined to improve the last mile of electricity delivery, enabling the grid to support more distributed renewable generation, while making the distribution system more reliable and efficient. We provide a new type of equipment for utilities to better leverage their existing distribution infrastructure to address the most common issues that affect efficiency and reliability of the grid. Our solution is the Tie Controller, a modular, power-electronics device capable of linking disparate parts of the grid, the first of its kind shown to comprehensively manage power flow and voltage stabilization to address costly utilization and reliability issues. The suite of underlying technology further addresses gaps associated with old infrastructure by allowing distribution operators to tie renewable energy sources into existing grid networks.



Virtual Temperature Sensor (VTS)

Virtual Temperature Sensor (VTS) has developed a mechanism in which indoor air temperature can be predicted using the temperature sensor on the battery of smartphones or laptops, where data is easily accessible and ubiquitous. This new way of temperature estimation can revolutionized the current way HVAC systems work to heat or cool buildings by controlling to regulate the occupied space temperature rather than the thermostat temperature sensor that is, usually, far away from the actual temperature where people sit.



RWEDI Solutions, INC.

RWEDI Solutions is commercializing the RWEDI Water system. RWEDI Water, a water purification technology, will provide huge economic and environmental savings for facility managers at mid-sized institutions in Southwestern US. Our system offers a 25% reduction in cooling tower operating costs by decreasing makeup water use by 20%, decreasing chemical use by 40%, and reducing maintenance costs. Our system is easy to retrofit into existing cooling towers and has a modular design to scale.


The Mackinac Technology Company:

The Mackinac Technology Company (Mackinac) is developing a window covering system that will greatly improve the insulation value of existing windows. Windows account for approximately 60-80% of the energy lost from building envelopes with an economic impact over $60B per year in the US. Mackinac’s products will reduce these energy losses with an aesthetically attractive, multi-functional window covering system.


Emergy Labs

Emergy Labs grows advanced porous carbon materials using a fungus - finding applications in filtration, catalysis, and energy storage. The bottom-up approach for producing a nano-structured feedstock is unique in the porous carbon industry resulting in production of sustainable materials with over 100% increase in performance and 25% decrease in cost than competitors. Emergy’s bio-manufacturing process improves process line efficiencies, reduces energy requirements, and achieves greater control over the final material produced.


Activated Research Company

Renewable fuels are a necessary part of our clean energy future. Unfortunately, the development of next generation biofuels and products is impeded by the chemical complexity of their compositions and the difficulties in analyzing them. The award-winning Polyarc system is a new tool for analyzing the composition of organic molecules that enables scientists around the world to develop new fuels with greater accuracy and speed, yet at a lower cost. In addition, the technology has several applications for the improved analysis of pharmaceuticals, foods, chemical feedstocks, forensics and more.


Kronfeld Motors

The global automotive industry is changing and growing. The PEV (plug in electric) space alone has averaged 55% growth year over year for the last 4 years and is seeing a rapid pace of innovation in new technologies, options and products.

The Raht Racer is an electric, enclosed cycling vehicle, with all the safety features of traditional motor vehicle. Our patented drive able exercise machine allows you to pedal as fast as a car, on the highway. Our prototype reached a top speed of 72 miles per hour in a test conducted by Science Channel’s All American Makers. Raht Racer gives the rider the sensation of feeling superhuman regardless of how hard they pedal and recharges when pedaled or plugged in. This product has the potential to be a trailblazer in the power sport category, just like the first snowmobile, Jet Ski or ATV.


Autonomous Tractor Corporation (ATC)

ATC has developed and patented eDrive, an electric drivetrain technology for agricultural vehicles that can help cut capital and operating costs nearly in half. The core technology is an “electronic transmission,” that enables the replacement of traditional mechanical or hydraulic drivetrains in older tractors with electric motors and generators - without the use of batteries, which are too heavy, costly and complex to manage. eDrive can reduce the need for multiple single-purpose tractors of different sizes on a farm by self-powering and mobilizing the implements directly.



Teqnizan has demonstrated a wearable photovoltaic energy harvester that extends the wireless earbuds run time to 12 hrs or infinite time operation in direct sunlight. This type of clean wearable energy harvester will enable construction workers, utility workers and athletes to be connected for critical two way communication of information without having carry heavy gear. Moreover, the worker or consumer is handsfree and eyes-free, leading to significant enhancement in productivity and safety.




PneumaCC is a company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The founders are friends who feel passionate about giving people the ability to positively impact their health by using air filtration products that drastically improves the air in their homes.

Living in the upper Midwest of the continental USA, we feel very blessed to be surrounded by clean air. It is very easy to take this for granted. Whenever we travel to areas of the world where clean air is not the norm, the difference is very obvious and unsettling. This concern is amplified when one considers the numerous studies that point to the significant negative impact that poor air quality has on health, well-being, and quality of life of people. Poor air quality also puts a significant burden on the healthcare cost and productivity of a population.

We looked around at available products in the market that address this concern we found some solutions but not one that fully addressed the problem. This inspired us to develop products that are smart, simple, and affordable and would better address the need of the market.


ClearFlame Engines, Inc.

ClearFlame Engines is developing a drop-in replacement for Diesel engines in heavy-duty applications (transportation and power generation) that affords 5% higher efficiency and 30% power density, and also lowers CO2 emissions by 10% and reduces the cost of aftertreatment by 90%, all while eliminating the need for petroleum-based fuel. Our goal is to improve upon the performance of the Diesel engine, while simultaneously achieving the clean emissions profile of Diesel alternatives for tomorrow's emission standards, all without the relative drawbacks of either strategy.



Midas Corp.

Midas Corp. will work with you and your team to address all your consumption and emissions issues. Our clean coal technology is a new enhancement to the combustion process. Our spray utilizes the elemental, not chemical nature of key non-hydrocarbon substances to provide a coal which burns more efficiently and reduces carbon emissions. The benefits of using our technology include a reduction in coal consumed, reduction in harmful emissions, reduction in Maintenance and reduction of ash produced.


Sofi’s Taste Kineto:

Sofi’s Taste Kineto will focus on one of the best beverage, Kineto also known as Tella it's a non-alcoholic beverage that has a sweet smooth taste. Tella is an exclusive beverage well-liked by many Ethiopians and has proven to be very appetizing to old and new consumers. Sofi’s Taste will be the first official Ethiopian Brewery line of business in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. There are currently 2,062,257 of African descent in the United States, in Minnesota, there are 100,742 Africans. Across this population, there are 612,650 East Africans in the United States, with 20,046 Ethiopian in Minnesota (United States Census Bureau, n.d.). We have a great amount of the population to distribute our beverage to and we will begin to reach out to the Ethiopian community in the Twin Cities area and continue to grow to other communities. The problem we are also trying to solve is composing the barley that we use to make our brewery drink. One of our goals is to waste less and make a better use of it. With our productivity, we want to be able to use all of our products and be mindful of our waste. With the filter grains that we do not need, we work with farmers to make it useful. This will minimize our waste and be productive.


AmebaGone Inc.

Amebagone Inc. (AG) develops/produces natural biocontrol agents of bacterial pathogens of plants and animals. Our first targets are Erwinia amylovora (Ea) the cause of FireBlight in pome fruits and Clavibacter michiganensis, causing blight in tomatoes, potatoes, etc. Our novel, proprietary technology controls invasive and destructive bacterial diseases in agricultural naturally, without spraying antibiotics or copper, which have limited effectiveness and can be toxic to crops.



ATLAS Energy Systems, LLC

Atlas energy Systems, LLC is developing a patent-pending energy conversion mechanism to turn ionizing radiation from radioisotopes and nuclear reactions into electricity. The technology is aimed at utilizing isotopes found in radioactive waste as a portable power source for nuclear batteries. These nuclear batteries have applications in underwater unmanned vehicles, power packs for military uses, space power, remote sensors, and off-grid telecommunication systems.



Stillage Solutions

Activated carbon is an increasingly valuable commodity. Current industry manufacturing methods are expensive, inefficient, and harmful to the environment. Stillage Solutions has developed a novel chemical manufacturing process capable of producing high-quality activated carbons for a fraction of current industry cost. This environmentally friendly and patent-protected process is capable of converting the byproducts of alcohol distilling, known as waste stillage, into activated carbon products!



Me2EV Charging System

Plenty of Electric Vehicles are on the market, and drivers realize most electric options only get 30-80 miles on a single charge. This leads to anxiety over the lack of charging stations. Enter the ME2 L-Loop™: The Hybrid Lithium to lead battery range extender. Lead 12VDC/240VAC Inverter supplying AC Power to build in Level 2 Charger into EV. Now you can charge your EV anywhere taking charger to EV instead of EV to Stationary Public Charger. 1st Ford EV 63 mi range, with Me2 L-Loop it’s120 miles.



Human Lift

The custom lift is designed to enable safer and more efficient work on inclined surfaces like the roofs of residential homes. The system allows for installing roof-mounted equipment like Solar PV systems and roof insulation upgrades without walking on or damaging roofing materials. The design compiles both OSHA standards and relevant safety requirements. The innovation dramatically reduces the time required to install equipment and is a leap forward for installation financial performance.




Aker is an in-season crop monitoring service and scouting platform for row crop farming globally. Aker enables proactive field observation or scouting to alert of adverse environmental conditions impacting crop health. Aker collects and analyze high-resolution aerial images and other field indications using drones as primary data collection source. Results are delivered to Ag retailers and suppliers to help match crop protection products based on field evidence.


Accelerate Wind:

Accelerate Wind is an IP and technology development company creating a novel rooftop wind energy solution- one that operates quieter, cheaper, and more aesthetically pleasing than today's solutions.


Abyss Inc.

Lithium air batteries have the potential to dramatically accelerate the world's transition to clean energy by providing more than 5 times the energy density of today's best lithium ion batteries. If implemented on a large scale these batteries drastically reduce the carbon impact of many technologies. This would look like renewable-enabling utility-scale energy storage, extended-range electric vehicles, and more efficient electronics.


FGC Plasma Solutions

FGC Plasma Solutions is working on a better fuel injector that incorporates plasma to better control combustion in jet engines and gas turbines. This technology enables more optimum operation of the engine. In particular, by reducing fuel consumption during idling, savings are possible of between 1 to 5 percent per flight. This technology will also enable benefits from lower emissions; increased fuel flexibility; and improved reliability. We are currently working on this technology at Argonne.


  • By Steve Webster on in Midwest

Updated on May 25, 2017 4:06 PM