Friday, March 20, 2009

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs...City Hall in San Jose

"Clean Tech Open Stretches its Reach, Adds More Prize Money"

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal 3.20.09
By: Lisa Sibley

Clean Tech Open Executive Director Rex Northen on Thursday unveiled the nonprofit’s newest challenge — and it goes far beyond its initial endeavor of connecting entrepreneurs with a network of vendors and funding.

Northen said the Open’s goal is to create 100,000 jobs in 10 regions by 2015.

To accomplish this, Northen said, “We need to take the best of Silicon Valley and bring it to the rest of the nation. It’s about giving regional players access to venture capitalists and venture capitalists access to these businesses.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, an early champion of clean techology, jumped right on board. “ I am signing up for 25 percent of this cleantech challenge,” he said.

Reed announced his commitment to add 25,000 jobs to the industry at the launch of the fourth annual Clean Tech Open competition at the City Hall Rotunda.

This year’s competition will also be the richest with $1 million in regional prizes -- including a grand prize of $250,000 -- and will add two more regions to the field, the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. Already 120 competitors have signed up in the three regions, which Northen said is ahead of schedule.

Since it began four years ago, the Clean Tech Open has spawned 125 companies, raised $125 million in capital and added 500 jobs.

GroundSource Geo, a 2008 winner and San Jose Environmental Business Cluster member, developed non-impact drill technology for ground-source heat pumps. GroundSource aims to be a major provider of green collar jobs locally, through equipment manufacturing and HQ operations -- as well as nationally by spurring streamlined installations of ground-source heat pumps throughout residential, commercial and institutional buildings in North America.

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