Cleantech Open Northeast Announces Top Cleantech and Energy Startups of 2016

Posted by Chelsea Mattioda on

Category: Northeast

Four companies focusing on water, efficiency, and energy generation receive $20,000 in prizes.

Boston, Mass. -- October 27, 2016 --  Cleantech Open Northeast, the Northeast division of Cleantech Open, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator, announced its 2016 regional winners: GreenBlu (Princeton, NJ), Proper Pipe (Boston, MA), PV Pure (Cambridge, MA), and Surge Hydro (Belfast, Maine). These companies will receive $20,000 in cash and in-kind services and will go on to represent the Northeast at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Francisco, CA on February 6 -10, 2017, where they will compete with emerging environmental and energy technology firms throughout the nation for the National Grand Prize worth $100,000 in investment and in-kind services.

The four regional winners were selected and announced by a judging panel of top cleantech and business leaders at the Cleantech Open Northeast Innovation Showcase and Awards Night at Boston Properties in Boston’s Back Bay. The evening featured top startups from Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. The top eight companies, selected from a pool of 24 semifinalists, pitched to a panel of expert judges.

More than 250 people attended the event, including entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials.  The speaking program featured Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew A. Beaton, Steve Pike interim CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, NECEC President Peter Rothstein, Ben Myers Sustainability Manager of Boston Properties, Katherine MacDonald Outgoing Director of Cleantech Open Northeast, and Kathryn Elmes Director of Cleantech Open Northeast.

The winning teams demonstrated a strong trend towards water technologies, water efficiency, and renewable energy generation. The top four companies come out of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Of the 24 companies graduating the 2016 Cleantech Open Northeast accelerator, 11 were based in New York, 8 were based in Massachusetts, 3 were based in New Jersey, and 2 were based in Maine.

In addition to the four main regional prizes, Cleantech Open Northeast awarded its first-ever Strategic Partner Prize, sponsored by Shell and Schneider Electric for $5,000. This award was given to SHAREnergy (New York, NY). Our annual Sustainability Prize for $5,000 was awarded to Regional Finalist PV Pure. The final special prize, the Crowd Favorite, was given to Regional Finalist Surge Hydro for $1,000. 

“Hard-working entrepreneurs across the region are driving the innovation necessary to address the energy and water resource challenges in the Northeast,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By supporting local innovators through Cleantech Open, the Baker-Polito Administration continues its dedication to our growing cleantech sector which creates jobs, economic prosperity, and a cleaner environment for the Commonwealth.”

“This year’s high-quality and diverse cohort of Cleantech Open Northeast startups are a reflection of the vibrant innovation and clean energy economy that thrives in the Northeast,” said Kathryn Elmes, Director of Cleantech Open Northeast. “We are thrilled to see GreenBlu, Proper Pipe, PV Pure, and Surge Hydro head to California this February to showcase the Northeast cleantech industry’s success on the national stage.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has made a significant investment in startup and emerging cleantech companies like those innovative companies participating in Cleantech Open Northeast. These companies represent the next generation in clean energy solutions that will help modernize an aging grid and provide cleaner, more affordable energy for consumers.”

“MassCEC supports Cleantech Open because it cultivates Massachusetts’ vibrant innovation economy, fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship that develops disruptive renewable technologies,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Stephen Pike. “Massachusetts has a long history of innovation and partnerships like this one bring about inventive solutions to our energy challenges while creating jobs and economic activity throughout the entire Northeast.”

“Once again National Grid is proud to be a major sponsor of this event,” said Patty DiOrio, vice president of US Strategy at National Grid. “Technology will play a key role in meeting the changing needs of our customers and communities and we need  innovative partners with us on that journey.”

About the 2016 Cleantech Open Northeast Regional & Special Prize Winners


Category: Water

Based in: Princeton, NJ

Summary: GreenBlu purifies and desalinates water using low cost solar distillation with breakthrough efficiency to alleviate the dual water crises of quantity and quality. GreenBlu triples water distillation energy efficiency without membranes by combining three proprietary technologies: an efficient adsorption cycle, a nanomaterial composite, and a new solar collector into an off-grid shipping container module. Our distiller sustainably removes salts, metals, and pollutants and scales to any size.

Proper Pipe

Category: Water Efficiency

Based in: Boston, MA

Summary: Proper Pipe's innovative joint design provides a Non-Destructive Test (NDT) to the piping industry that can be performed in seconds at time of install. It reduces the time, effort, liability and logistics of installing and pressure testing a pipe system. Because our test is non-intrusive, we can test the integrity of the joint at time of installation and while the pipe is still in service, providing huge amounts of savings to customers while keeping our environment clean and safe.

PV Pure

Category: Water

Based in: Cambridge, MA

Summary: PV Pure has developed knowledge-based design; control and maintenance methods to make small scale distributed solar powered water purification systems technically and economically feasible. This technology has been shown to be able to drive down the cost of producing high-quality drinking water by the end-users using solar power at a cost that is a typically less than 10% of the price charged by commercial producers.

Surge Hydro

Category: Energy Generation

Based in: Belfast, ME

Summary: The vast majority of existing dams in the U.S. don't produce electricity. The untapped potential is huge. By utilizing innovative & proprietary technology, Surge Hydro will create economically viable solutions; electrifying our nations idle infrastructure. We currently own and operate five hydroelectric dams. By utilizing these assets as a working laboratory, we will stimulate and inspire the creation of hydropower solutions across New England.


Category: Efficiency

Based in: New York, New York

Summary: SHAREnergy is a clean-tech initiative that engages buildings, stores and homeowners to reduce energy consumption in NYC. Energy savings achieved through awareness campaigns are used to finance solar products for communities living off-grid in villages of Colombia and Nepal. Anyone that uses or consume energy will have the opportunity to reduce and share, because "every second of saved power counts".

  • By Chelsea Mattioda on in Northeast

Updated on October 28, 2016 10:08 AM