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Judging the Cleantech Open

I just finished judging the semifinalists in transportation category of the Cleantech Open, a national business plan competition for start-ups and emerging companies. It was a difficult task due to the diversity of the eight contestants, which included a range of technologies (from engines and advanced vehicle technologies) as well as companies almost ready to go to market and some that may take years to get there. (See the list of all semifinalists.)

The first-place winner was Pressure Sentinel, which helps truckers get higher fuel efficiency by helping keep their tire pressure at the proper level. Pressure Sentinel stood above the others due to their technology, ability to get to market quickly and understanding of their market niche. Look for big things from them in the future. Conderos, which provides lead-free cellulosic fuel for propeller aircraft, was the runner-up.

The next step for Pressure Sentinel is competing with other regional winners for the top spot in the National Cleantech Open. The winner will be announced at the awards gala November 17 in San Jose that includes demos by the finalists and technology exhibits. See the list of finalists and learn more at the Cleantech Open website.