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EarthClean adds $30K Cleantech Open prize to its trophy case

Another prize should help extinguish any doubts about EarthClean's potential.

The Minneapolis startup, which produces a non-toxic, biodegradable firefighting gel, was one of three winners named last week in the region's first annual Cleantech Open competition.

Other winners for the Cleantech Open North Central region were Xolve, a Platteville, Wisc., company that makes nanocoatings for energy generation and storage, and Silicon Solar Solutions of Rogers, Ark., whose technology improves silicon-based solar power cells.

NewWater, a startup that's using University of Minnesota technology to develop an atrazine filter for municipal water treatment plants, won given a regional sustainability award.

EarthClean (which we've previously written about here and here) was also the grand prize winner in this year's Minnesota Cup entrepreneur competition.

The field for the Cleantech Open North Central competition also included companies from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

"That's a really important part of the program, to connect all these different geographies and create this ecosystem across the entire Midwest," says regional director Justin Kastor.

The three winners will receive a prize package that includes cash and services worth up to $30,000. They'll also compete for a $250,000 prize at a Nov. 17 national competition.

Next year's North Central competition is likely to include companies from Ohio and Illinois as the Cleantech Open prepares to launch a separate Midwest division in 2012.

The organization aims to help create 100,000 green-collar jobs in the United States by 2015.

Source: Justin Kastor, Clean Tech Open
Writer: Dan Haugen
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