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Sustainable Business Oregon: Scenes from Oregon's premier cleantech event
Author: Andy Giegerich, Portland Business Journal
Posted: September 13, 2013

See the original story and a gallery of photographs on Sustainable Business Oregon

Two companies that aim to produce solar industry items and restaurant-aimed aquaponic farming systems have split a $25,000 cleantech prize.

The contest sought to identify the most viable and well-thought out cleantech business idea. Diatomix and Mobius nosed out four other teams for the prize:

  • Continuum, which has developed a corrosion-free lightweight seismic brace.
  • Endobright, which is making natural dyes to use in cosmetics.
  • Green Innovations Inc., which has devised a way to convert discarded tires to crude oil.
  • Neptune Purification, which uses solar energy to purify water.

The six finalist teams pitched their wares to BEST attendees who made their way among the six booths. Those attendees, including CEOs and investors, cast ballots that determined the winning idea. The teams were judge on their pitch, their idea's potential impact, commercialization potential, whether a prototype is at a workable stage, the product's overall potential and the intangible "X factor."

The cleantech umbrella term covers everything from software development to hydroponic gardening and electric vehicles, among other categories.

Wells Fargo and PSU combined forces on the contest for the first time. Ecoworks also provided funding for the awards.

The six semifinalists were chosen from an initial field of 16 teams and received small development grants to nurture their ideas.