Welcome alumni, future alumni and those just interested in the kinds of companies that have ventured through our Cleantech Open Midwest accelerator:
Each year the Cleantech Open Midwest works with countless companies, graduating over a dozen from our sixth month, hands-on accelerator program. But we’re not done there... We continue to track and support these companies as alumni of our program. Please click on any of the logos below or simply scroll down to see a snapshot of our alumni companies,the milestones they’ve continued to achieve since participating with us, and contact information.
Provides a revolutionary new way to reduce cost in clean energy applications by completely eliminating the need for power inverters with their Software Defined Power Management System, Cognicell.
Awards and Acknowledgements:
Co-Founder, Courtney Gras, named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy for 2016 - Invited presenter for the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, Austria on the "Future of Batteries", fireside keynote presentation with Popular Science, 2016 - Named "Most Innovative Technology" by TechPint, 2016 - Clean Energy Challenge Early Stage Winners, (ComEd Female Founder Award), 2015 - Named a "Rising Star Company" by Smart Business, 2014
Contact: Courtney Gras - 216-543-6066
With operations in Lexington, Kentucky, the company was founded in 2014 with a vision to commercialize novel water deionization technology (patents-pending) developed by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research. PTW has developed INCION™ water treatment technology based on inverted capacitive deionization that removes total dissolved solids (TDS), including salts, corrosive minerals, and toxic metals, with reduced energy, cost, waste, and chemicals used compared to other available separation processes. The PTW INCION™ process will compete with membrane separation processes for deionization and desalination such as reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF), which are energy intensive and sensitive to fouling. PTW’s INCION™ technology is estimated to reduce treatment costs by up to 50% due to reducing energy consumption, capital equipment investment, membrane replacement costs, and energy use. Water is our most valuable resource, and the mission of PowerTech Water is to improve the quality of water and help return it to its pristine condition.
Awards and Acknowledgements:
2013 5 Across Business Plan pitch competition champions - BGA Launch Fund Challenge winner - NSF Phase I/Ib SBIR Awardee - NSF Phase II SBIR Awardee - Kentucky Enterprise Fund Awardee - Kentucky Science Technology Corporation SBIR State Match Awardee
Contact: Cameron Lippert - 859-421-8188 -
Provides a scalable solution to minimize the environmental and social impact of plastic waste. Our modular production units create critical construction materials out of recycled plastic and local organic inputs. The incorporation of recycled plastic generates a low-cost, sustainable end-product with superior durability, insulation, and water resistance. This technology reduces pollution, increases quality of construction, and contributes to economic growth in developing countries - addressing multiple problems with one sustainable solution.
Re-Module collects plastics that would typically end up in streets, oceans and landfills, and recycling them to create sustainable and builder-friendly materials to be used in the construction of reliable and structurally sound homes and buildings.In addition to its underlying sustainability and humanitarian purpose, Re-Module addresses the under-met demand for locally-produced, higher quality, environmentally-friendly construction materials. It also provides a comprehensive solution for international companies which utilize plastic packaging (i.e.: bottling companies, CPG companies, etc.) and have aggressive ‘green’ initiatives, but cannot achieve them in some geographies due to the lack of formalized recycling programs.
Contact: Kelsey Underwood - (502) 432-2745 Karl Kratzke - (507) 327-7017
BlueTeak specializes in providing comprehensive and affordable solutions to wastewater problems by developing treatment systems that can effectively treat recalcitrant wastewater types. Our innovative and patent pending technology can treat a wide variety of waste streams: primary metals and metal finishing, food and dairy processing, domestic sewage and sanitation, refinery and petrochemical, oil field exploration and others. The heart of our technology is our proprietary process and treatments to remove 99% of TDS, organic matters without reverse osmosis, electro-dialysis, ultra-filtration, ultra-violet light, ionization and other costly technologies and solutions. The following are the contaminants that will be removed:
- Organic Matters
- Micro Organisms
- BOD, COD, NO2/NO3
- Algae, Fungi and Bacteria
- Volatile and Non-Volatile Matters
- Heavy Metals, TDS, TSS
- Nitrites, Phosphorus, Ammonia
Contact: Sam Mathew - 248.982.0734 - BlueTeak Innovations, LLC - 23019 Balcombe - Novi, MI 48375, USA
We design and build multi-functional indoor farms that combine the most advanced energy efficient aquaponic facility (fish & plants production) with onsite power generation from food waste (anaerobic biodigestion) bringing the operations to energy neutral, year-round and sustainable. Our farm units combine five revenue streams into direct benefits to the local urban community (produce, fish, electrical power, food waste tipping fee, and fertilizer). Designs are flexible, scale-able, and mobile.
California Energy & Power (CE&P), with its management team and largest investor grouped based in Illinois has developed the first industrial-grade six kilowatt and ten kilowatt Vertical-Axis-Wind-Turbine (VAWT) wind turbine solutions. Their technology stems from extensive research, development and engineering efforts over the past 11 years. CE&P's Cali-6 kW and 10 kW turbines provide a small wind VAWT solution to address the major issues and challenges facing the big wind Horizontal-Axis-Wind-Turbine (HAWT) market.
Carbon Cash is a mobile application that lowers university energy costs & carbon footprint by motivating college students to adopt energy saving behaviors. Carbon Cash addresses what is known in energy efficiency as the split incentive problem. This is when a tenant is living in a building where the landlord pays for the electricity or it is a fixed cost factored into the tenant’s rent. Tenants in this scenario are left without an incentive to reduce their own electricity consumption and landlords are left with higher energy costs as their tenants adopt irresponsible consumption behavior. This is an especially pervasive problem in student housing.
Contact: Bernie Eisbrenner - (734) 377-1123 - carboncash.co - 12931 Drury Ln. Plymouth, MI, 48170
Char Energy Equip builds the patented horizontal mobile bake gasifier. This gasifier turns biomass waste from farms, forests, and municipalities into biochar. Biochar applications cover a wide range of situations. Added to soil, it increases yield and plant growth as well as giving the soil better water holding capacity. Other applications include: water quality enhancement, alternative renewable fuels, and carbon sequestration, to name just a few. This gasifier bakes the biochar; others burn it.
enVerde has identified outstanding business opportunities to create renewable energy and chemicals from low/no cost waste streams. We can produce syngas, bio/pyro/fuel oils, and char materials from a very wide range of feedstocks. What differentiates us: unique high performing/low cost thermochemical catalytic technology, high yields, environmental performance, multiple profit centers, mobility, and relatively low capital and operating costs all managed by an excellent experienced enVerde team.
We provide unique water systems for buildings. We started with dental hospital water systems and have expanded to include clinics, SR housing, care facilities and any facility where immune compromised persons reside or are provided care. Systems are available for schools, institutions, hotels, and anywhere where complete control of building water safety is desired. We "deconstruct" municipal or well water at point of entry and then dose it with anolyte to 0.4-0.8ppm FAC complying with NPDWR.
Packaging. We all use it and E-commerce has increased the need for it. Current manufacturing methods use decades old equipment and technology. These incorporate the use of much water and energy. Our technology is much less energy and water intensive while also using recycled material as feedstock. The equipment for our process requires much less capital investment which allows setup of production near the feedstock source. This creates localized manufacturing. Our innovation is called TeknaBoard.
Touch Light Innovations, a startup from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is pioneering in harvesting ambient energy to power our daily use tools and create a green environment. Their flagship product, Power Pad, is a low-profile device that sits beneath any moderate to heavy foot traffic location. Each step a passerby takes on the Power Pad generates up to 10 watt-mins of power.
By targeting the commercial building market space in city locations, Touch Light Innovations is able to offer a clean technology product that is designed for city like environments. This product is estimated to save an average commercial building up to $80,000.00 a year on their electrical bill and increase real estate value by 7% each year. The Power Pad has been tested at a Westchester Knicks game as well as in a New York High School for one month.
Prospective clients for partnership with Touch Light include: Contractors in or around city locations, Architects of commercial buildings, Real estate agents, Solar energy financing companies, flooring companies and building supply manufacturers. With these type of partners TLI will be able to maintain the role of the manufacturer and distributor of the Power Pad. The benefits of these partnerships will also allow TLI to have multiple point of sale outlets through these partners as most of them would make money off of each sale they make of a Power Pad.
Our patent pending technology is very versatile and its various market opportunities have been analyzed. The prominent market segments applications for the Power Pad included a “self- sustaining” cell phone charger, a standalone intrusion detection & notification security device, and a self-powered customizable light up flooring. With further analysis of each market, the best opportunity is the energy generation market as it has the lowest barriers to entry and highest need in comparison to the other segments.
Touch Light Innovations is actively searching for their seed round funding to do R&D, finalize market prototype, and do demos with prospective customers.
Awards and Acknowledgements: 2015 Acorda Therapeutic Award Winner – sponsored by Acorda Therapeutics. Interview with Lisa Wexler, read it here. 2015 Earth Day Award Winner - work done with the Power Pad and its environmental impact
Contact: Swarnav Pujari -
PREVIOUS YEARS COMPANIES
Developed a patented green building product brand named FORTECO that utilizes interlocking light gauge steel, insulation decking and concrete designed as a composite system to form a cost-effective, lightweight floor and wall framing system for building construction. The breakthrough FORTECO framing system is panelized and easy to install, saving up to 40% in construction costs, 30% in time to build and increasing energy efficiency by over 50%. Lightweight Structures has completed 14 projects to date and has several new projects on the books.
Formed in late 2012, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. (AKHAN SEMI) is an Illinois Corporation. The primary aim of AKHAN SEMI is to develop and manufacture next generation Nanocrystalline (NCD) based materials & devices. AKHAN SEMI's IP portfolio combines AKHAN's breakthrough Miraj DiamondTM portfolio with revolutionary low temperature diamond deposition technology developed by Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials -- resulting in the world's most advanced diamond semiconductor platform. The company is based in Gurnee, IL.
Harnesses the power of the cloud to create systems that predict, monitor and manage the needs of light commercial buildings. Whether you are looking to optimize comfort, increase energy efficiency or gain insight into how your building uses energy, we can eliminate inefficiencies and increase your bottom line. Visit 75f.io/results to see how customers from a variety of industries like restaurant, retail, medical and fitness are enjoying the comfort and energy savings the 75F system delivers.
Developed a way to reduce coal and gas needs from power plants, while also reducing oil consumption in transportation – the two predominant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. They created a rechargeable and detachable IoT module, which sits in energy storage “kiosks” that could be used by users like a Redbox. The modules could be placed in their cars to reduce gas consumption, or in their homes to reduce power consumption.
Developed patent pending flow monitoring devices that are self-powered and do not require batteries or electricity. Our devices are virtually maintenance free. Once installed they add a layer of digital intelligence to your facility’s potable water supply system. Our solution combines monitoring and analytic tools that provide insights into water flow and use across an entire potable water supply system allowing maintenance and engineering departments to optimize performance, prevent leaks and manage consumption right down to the individual fixture or appliance.
Developed and patented a LEED and ASHRAE compliant process along with field ready software that identifies the continuous waste and inefficient transfer of mechanical energy in buildings. Our process accurately measures actual field HVAC efficiency by applying a fuel and Btu heat transfer performance value to each individual mechanical system component with less than a 1% probability of error. UnibesLLC has created a cloud-based, energy auditing HVAC system performance and automatic software report generation program called “Audit Master Pro”. Lowering a building’s utility bills and Carbon Footprint now becomes easy. Audit Master Pro is designed to identify building HVAC equipment heat transfer efficiency, performance and fluid flows, in either Inch Pound (IP) or Metric (SI) reporting, while also providing the prescriptive means to optimize these systems to their maximum potential.
A Minnesota based company, founded in 2009 and the winner of the 2010 Minnesota Tekne Award and third place in the 2010 Cleantech Open. The company’s mission is to “produce better problem solving products through natural chemistries” as reflected in the company’s motto “Better Solutions…Naturally.” The first commercially launched product is a corn-based Class A fire suppressant and Water Enhancer for Wildland Fire Management called TetraKO™ XL-P. The company has several additional plant-based technologies in the development pipeline targeted for multiple markets including medical, agricultural, horticulture and military.
Transformed into a growing business inspired by natural extracts found in Birch Bark and in Chaga a fungi, which grows on birch trees. Our cold process soap process delivers these compounds which moisturize and are high in antioxidants critical to healthy skin. The Bark of the Birch Tree has been a source of remarkable compounds used by native cultures for thousands of years. Our Bark comes from “Sustainability Certified” managed and harvested forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our Chaga is wild craft harvested, dried and extracted without use of chemicals.
This ancient wisdom, along with our passion brings these natural extracts from our hands to yours. Our soaps are distributed through wholesale, retail and Birch and Body online store.
NOsparc arc suppressors increase the operating life of industrial switches by 10X or more, yielding enormous cost reductions in switch costs, scheduled maintenance and unscheduled downtime of the equipment these switches control. The big idea behind Arc Suppression Technologies is a novel patent-protected solution for the #1 cause of switch failure: contact arcing. Robust, reliable NOsparc products eliminate contact arcing at its source and have immediate uses in thousands of commercial and industrial applications. Never before has there been an off-the-shelf solution that operates across a broad range of AC and DC power applications.
Extracts and purifies natural compounds from birch bark which are used to develop novel new drugs, improve human health through cardio metabolic support, and support the skins natural barrier to minimize the effects of aging.
Building a nationwide network of indoor hydroponic farms. Using our patent pending equipment, we produce over 100 acres of produce in a one acre warehouse building using 98% less water than the irrigated fields of California. Our growing equipment produces leafy green vegetables, herbs, micro greens, watercress, and sprouts in 35 days or less from seedling to harvest.
A holistic renewable energy provider dedicated to providing sustainable solutions for today’s energy problems. We are determined to provide the most innovative and cutting edge technology to the market through a continuous improvement mindset to meet the world’s energy needs. GRNE Solutions’ focus is to provide renewable energy sources for homes, commercial buildings and utilities through the use of photovoltaics and other renewable sources, but also with our patented Energy Column which reclaims existing energy within a structure that would normally be lost. Through careful analysis and implementation of our unique applications, GRNE Solutions is changing the way the world produces electricity.
Bringing technological advances and increased control to the lighting industry by harnessing the potential of Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities. The company has developed a universal plug-and-play Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology that integrates power and data in a single Cat-5 cable, eliminating the need for expensive electrical wiring and delivering substantially greater reductions in cost and energy usage than LED lighting alone. Igor’s PoE solution is fully integrated, yet modular, connecting any lighting manufacturer’s LED fixtures with sensors. Igor’s solution also includes a powerful cloud analytics option which can provide customizable dashboards detailing energy usage and sensor data to greatly enhance facility operational costs and efficiency.
Develops and produces high-capacity, high-power batteries for applications that have challenging requirements for performance and durability. These batteries can provide advantages for military, utility, and mass transit buses. A key differentiator is the battery cell thermal properties. Compared to the typical cylindrical Li-ion cell, a Rolled-Ribbon Li-ion ell (a large diameter disc cell) has 40 times greater heat conduction in the radial direction to overcome thermal management difficulties. Rolled-Ribbon is a cell and battery packaging technology that simultaneously improves cell and battery performance while reducing cost. Rolled-Ribbon provides important performance characteristics that cannot be matched by traditional cell packaging technologies. For some high-rate applications, cycle life is increased 400%. This efficient design uses very short electrodes with 100 times greater electrical contact to cell terminals. Rolled-Ribbon battery is a stacked cell battery that eliminates both weigh and volume of discrete cell terminals. It is a ”bi-polar type” battery of sealed cells without the chronic issues of manufacturability and durability. InvenTek manufactures Rolled-Ribbon Li-ion cells/batteries in support of licensees and also for product demonstration.
Recycles oil industry wastewater through patent pending equipment. It handles oil wastewater issues in an affordable way. The Difference? Nitro Nano℠ bubbles in treatment water. We’re talking <.0000002 mm bubbles. Oil rises to the surface, and suspended solids drop to the bottom of wastewater in minutes, not days or weeks through the usual gravity settlement methods. This oil is recovered and fully available for sale. Nitro Nano℠ water is enhanced for recycling back into oil production use.
Created the first intelligent precision 3D design system combining technology and education specific to sustainable development and redevelopment. Our product, ‘LandMentor’, was created by our 40 years in development of mapping, engineering, surveying, and planning software combined with 25 years developing innovative design solutions that raise real estate value, increase function, and decrease environmental impacts for all forms of land use. It is the first easy yet comprehensive land development design technology that adopts video gaming for its interactive 3D and VR which will forever change the way the consulting industry communicates. Over 1,000 developments (approx.. $60 billion in value) in 18 nations have used the methods taught exclusively in LandMentor which have demonstrated an average 25% reduction of infrastructure without losing density. Once this disruptive solution gains market momentum, we will forever increase living standards worldwide.
Named for INcreased VELocity, technology transforms wind into a reliable energy source providing sustainable, affordable electrical energy to anyone, anywhere. The patented technology funnels wind to increase its speed and harvest wind power with much smaller turbines safely housed near the ground. Increasing wind speed allows INVELOX to generate reliable, wind power in low wind areas, where traditional turbines simply won’t turn, and high wind areas where there could be too much wind for current wind turbines. By addressing the greatest challenges in the renewable energy industry: cost, reliability, viability, environmental, and health impacts, SheerWind is changing the course of power generation.
An advanced technology manufacturer located in Wixom, Michigan. SurClean is focused on leveraging laser ablation processes to remove surface coatings, debris and oxides in the most precise, safe, energy efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly way available today. SurClean’s proprietary laser beam delivery systems and patented sensor system are integrated with OEM laser sources and then mounted on robots for an autonomous system or contained with a mobile cart for portable handheld devices. These systems are used to remove rust, paint and surface coatings on aircraft, bridges, ships, rail, tankers and other major assets that require regular surface stripping for mandated inspections and maintenance.
The triple bottom line business model provides social benefits to the communities which it serves, reduces negative environmental impacts of food production while achieving economic viability. NetZro has four main revenue streams: waste collection fees, revenue from the sale of dried food nutrients, consulting fees and equipment sales. NetZro’s business model is designed to provide businesses within the food supply chain integrated solutions to recover all waste by charging the customer a fee based on the total tonnage of unused food processed. Once the unused food and water has been processed, NetZro will sell the recovered nutrients to companies to reintroduce these nutrients into the food supply chain.
Is a nutrient recovery company that develops technologies to help wastewater treatment plants meet their operational needs, reduce maintenance costs, and profit from the nutrients in their wastewater. NRU is commercializing technologies for phosphorus (P) recovery and nitrogen (N) recovery, with long-term plans to develop a comprehensive suite of nutrient recovery options. With expertise in soil science and plant nutrition, NRU ensures recovered nutrient products are effective and environmentally-friendly. NRU’s vision is to transform municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewater treatment into a worldwide engine for nutrient recovery that can operate economically and sustainably.
In 2015, Viroment won the Global Cleantech Open award in the water category after being a finalist in the Midwest Cleantech competition earlier that fall. Viroment’s proprietary technology solves the challenges of sludge disposal. Their treatment system significantly lowers the hauling cost – while reducing environmental impact and meeting regulatory standards. Viroment’s innovation paves the way for a redeployment of a validated adjacent industry application. Viroment has won a series of prestigious awards. They have been awarded the Seal of Excellence from the European Commission, "The Entrepreneur" award from the University of St. Thomas, and Viroment was a 2015 Finalist for Cleantech Open.
DATTUS provides the simplest, fastest, and most cost-effective way to make machines "smart." We serve manufacturing and heavy industry by enabling data-collection, performance monitoring, and predictive analytics. With no programming required and plug-and-play setup, industrial operations can get the insights they need to prevent unplanned downtime and increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
DATTUS was featured in Pumps and Systems, Smart Industry, and Manufacturing Automation magazines and was named one of the Top 10 Startups in the world in 2015. In 2016, DATTUS received TechPoint’s Mira Award for the Best New Tech Product of 2016. They were a finalist for the Clean Industry Trust Challenge for 2016 and was selected by gener8tor to be part of their Top 15, making them part of an accelerator program that invests in high-growth startups.