14 Finalists Announced for Silicon Valley Startup Pitch Competition

VERGE Accelerate contestants to pitch clean economy solutions before global audience
Aug 9, 2017 10:00 AM ET
Press Release

OAKLAND, California, August 9, 2017 /3BL Media/ – GreenBiz Group announced today the 14 finalists for the VERGE Accelerate fast-pitch competition,  featuring innovative early-stage companies offering solutions to accelerate the clean economy. The finalists will present to a globally livestreamed audience on stage at the VERGE 17 conference and expo in Santa Clara, Calif., September 19-21.

The 2017 VERGE Accelerate finalists are: CurbMyClutter, Katz Water Technologies, Lilac Solutions, Mogol, Symbiot Technology, 75F, COI Energy, Sylvatex, Renewal Mill, RosettaBlock, Bioplastic Recycling, The Renewal Workshop, Autocase and watt-r.

VERGE 17 convenes more than 2,000 leaders from the world’s largest companies and utilities, innovative startups and progressive government agencies to explore emerging technologies and trends accelerating cleantech solutions to energy, transportation, building, supply-chain and other environmental and societal challenges.

To qualify for VERGE Accelerate, entrepreneurs were required to submit 60-second videos about their companies, explaining the challenges and market opportunity their solution addresses.  Of the nearly 100 applicants, thirty-five semifinalists were selected by GreenBiz Group and had their pitch videos put to public vote. 

More than 34,000 votes were cast to help determine the winner.  In addition to public votes, finalists were selected based on eligibility criteria that include:

  • developing technology-based and commercially viable products or services related to at least one of the VERGE tracks: distributed or renewable energy, grid-scale power, next-gen buildings, connected transportation and mobility, city and regional resilience, smart infrastructure or the circular economy;
  • being incorporated with a product ready for testing or deployment; and
  • having less than $5 million in combined investment and annual revenue.

“This year’s pool of nominations were stronger and more global than ever,” said Shana Rappaport, director of strategic programs for GreenBiz, who leads the VERGE Accelerate program. “These 14 finalists reflect just the kind of diverse and innovative solutions needed to address our society’s and our planet’s biggest challenges.”

GreenBiz will also be offering VERGE Accelerate finalists, among other selected startups, the opportunity to participate in the Startup Showcase — a pop-up co-working space in the VERGE Interconnect Expo, designed to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors and VERGE 17 attendees. The Showcase is presented in partnership with Elemental Excelerator, the Incubatenergy Network and Oregon BEST.

The VERGE Accelerate competition, now in its fifth year, has generated global exposure for about 80 startups that have presented products, services or technologies on the VERGE stage.  Many of these companies have found funding or customers as a result of their VERGE Accelerate participation.

This year’s VERGE Accelerate program is strengthened by partnerships with allied organizations that support early-stage ventures, including: CalSEED, Cleantech Open, Cleantech San Diego, Closed Loop Fund, Cyclotron Road, Elemental Excelerator, F6S, Greentown Labs, Imagine H2O, Keiretsu Forum, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), New Energy Nexus, Oregon BEST, Powerhouse, Prospect Silicon Valley, Silicon Climate and Tumml.

Cox Conserves is this year’s VERGE Accelerate sponsor. Its director of sustainability partnerships, Evelyn Bolden, will serve as one of four Industry Experts to help evaluate and offer real-time commentary on stage, along with Matt Petersen of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Shiraz Haji of Zipdragon Ventures and Marilyn Waite of Village Capital.

In addition to VERGE Accelerate, VERGE 17 offers more than 100 other solutions-oriented sessions led by more than 250 speakers,  plus numerous special programs, including the VERGE Summit Series and Interconnect Expo.

To learn more about VERGE 17, visit: greenbiz.com/verge17.

GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE.

Becky Dempsey
GreenBiz Group
+1 (510) 740-2358