Cleantech Open West at the Global Forum 2018

Posted by Ian Foraker on

Category: West

Cleantech Open West engages at the Program Year 2018 Global Forum

On January 28th, 2019, Cleantech Open West welcomed Cleantech Open startups from across the U.S. to the 14th annual Cleantech Open Global Forum, the capstone event for Cleantech Open’s 2018 acceleration program year.  Over 65 cleantech startups from across the West and the country participated in the event, which showcased both the winners of Cleantech Open’s U.S. regional competitions, and graduates of the entire 2018 acceleration cohort.

The event took place at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), our regional parent organization, which has run the CTO West program since the fall of 2017.   LACI’s beautiful facility of 60,000 square feet of co-working and prototyping lab space provided the perfect venue for the event.

Due to the location, many of our CTO West startups, mentors, investors, and pro bono leaders were able to participate and connect with cleantech innovation peers from across the U.S. and from Europe.   Thirty-four startups from CTO West’s Cohort and 2 CTO West alumni participated in the event, along with 7 LACI Portfolio companies, together making up nearly two thirds of the startups in attendance.


West well represented among National Finalists

CTO West was proud advance our 5 regional winners, selected at our Awards & Innovation Showcase in October, to the national round of judging.  Of these, 3 startups – Sepion Technologies, South 8, and YouSolar – advanced to become National Finalists and pitched before a public audience in the final round of National Judging.

South 8 Technologies, Inc. has developed a breakthrough new Liquefied Gas Electrolyte chemistry for electrochemical energy storage devices including lithium batteries and electrochemical capacitors. Their patented technology allows for a substantial increase of energy, improved safety, and exceptionally wide operating temperatures. Leveraging conventional materials and manufacturing, South 8 Technologies offers a unique solution for a variety of transportation, grid storage, and aerospace applications.

Sepion Technologies, Inc. has created innovative membrane materials paving the path to safe, energy-dense batteries capable of powering electric vehicles for up to 400 miles, relieving consumer range anxiety, redefining electric mobility, and decarbonizing transportation. Sepion’s platform membrane technology is retrofittable, providing near-term benefits to today’s Li-ion batteries and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with next-generation Li-metal anodes and long-duration grid-storage batteries. 

YouSolar has developed a solar+battery system for complete diesel generator replacement used for backup or primary power. The system eliminates any power quality problems from the grid and delivers uninterrupted and predictable power, whether the grid is up or down. The system is fully automated with an energy management system that learns customer consumption patterns and received a global solar radiation forecast from our proprietary cloud service.

Congratulations to our CTO West teams for becoming National Finalists for the 2018 Cleantech Open program year!


South 8 winner National Runner-up Prize

The competition was stiff, with the National Prize going to Radical Plastics from Cleantech Open’s Northeast Region out of Boston.  South 8 brought home the runner-up prize for the West.  Congratulations to the South 8 team for this win!


Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Cleantech Open West thanks all of our Cleantech Open West community members who joined us for this capstone event, including members of our 2018 cohort, alumni, mentors, judges, pro bono team members, partners and sponsors.   

A special thanks to our parent organization, LACI, for opening its doors to the Cleantech Open community from across the county, and to members of the LACI Portfolio company community who took part in the event.


2019 is ramping up.  Join us!

With the 2018 program year Global Forum behind us, Cleantech Open West is focused on the upcoming 2019 program.  We’re working to make 2019 our best year yet.  We’ll have ample opportunities for members of our community to engage.  A few highlights:

  • ~50 startups, including 20 CalSEED startups (continuing and deepening partnership with California Clean Energy Fund, CalCEF);
  • Target 25 startups in the South and 25 startups in the North;
  • National Academy West for ~80 startups again at Seagate in Fremont, June 7-9, 2019;
  • Business clinics over the Summer - each startup attends 2;
  • An expanded mentor program with 120+ active mentors;
  • Pitch clinics in the Fall - each startup attends 2;
  • Western Region Awards & Innovation Showcase co-located with VERGE 19, October 22-24 in downtown Oakland; and,
  • Leverage our Showcase for CalSEED prototype award vetting (CEC grants up to $450K) as part of our CalCEF relationship.


If you’ve been involved in our program before, we’ll be in touch with opportunities in our 2019 program.   If you’re interested in being involved but are new to Cleantech Open West, let us know of your interest HERE.   We’ll be in touch!

  • By Ian Foraker on in West

Updated on February 14, 2019 1:52 PM