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United States: The Academy Awards for Clean Energy Start-ups Rolls Out the Red Carpet in Nevada

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Cleantech Open and NIREC team up to help clean energy entrepreneurs in Nevada

LAS VEGAS -- Nevada’s clean energy entrepreneurs will get a boost this month when Cleantech Open, the world’s largest clean energy accelerator and business competition, announces the opening of a Nevada chapter and a new partnership with the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC).

Clean energy entrepreneurs, potential mentors, economic development officers, government leaders and media are invited to the statewide Cleantech Open Nevada introduction, occurring simultaneously in Las Vegas and Reno, Thursday, March 22, at 9:00 a.m. at Desert Research Institute. (Details: www.nirec.org/cleantechopennv.html.)

The Cleantech Open business plan competition is known for its highly acclaimed training program. Semifinalists participate in the accelerator and regional competitions. Finalists advance to the national Global Forum, informally dubbed the “Academy Awards for clean energy start-ups,” where final judging occurs and regional prize winners and the national $250,000 prize package winner are announced at the Awards Gala.

“Until now, entrepreneurs from Nevada traveled to California to participate in our mentoring activities,” said Cleantech Open Regional Director Erik Steeb. “Our new presence in Nevada and the NIREC partnership will bring greater in-state support for participants in the competition.”

Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services; 581 companies have participated in the program and raised more than $660 million in external funding.

“NIREC has worked with several start-ups that have done well in the competition,” says NIREC President and CEO Walt Borland. “As an intermediary for clean energy innovation in Nevada, deepening our relationship with Cleantech Open enhances our ability to champion entrepreneurially driven activities throughout the state.”

The Director of Cleantech Open Nevada, Chip Evans, adds, “I invite all clean energy start-ups, as well as professionals who can serve as mentors, to join us at the launch event and take part in Cleantech Open Nevada. Everyone who participates takes away something valuable from the experience.”

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