$40,000 Available in AC-NET Clean Tech Business Plan Competition

Anaheim Center for New Energy Technologies (AC-NET)

The AC-NET Clean Tech Business Plan Competition is a new contest sponsored by the Anaheim Center for New Energy Technologies (AC-NET), a collaborative partnership between the city of Anaheim and Cal State Fullerton.  Judges will select three winning candidates with the technology that best addresses regional energy and water challenges and demonstrates profit potential in today's marketplace.  Cash prizes will be awarded in the amounts of $25,000 for first-place, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third-place.

AC-NET is focused on revitalizing Anaheim's local and regional economy through supporting the efforts of entrepreneurs, start-ups and ventures in bringing clean water and energy technologies to market.  It was initially proposed by Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle in his 2008 State of the City Address. "The Clean Tech Business Plan Competition is a great way to kick off AC-NET's efforts," said Mayor Pringle. "We know that there are great ideas out there and, with a little help from AC-NET, those ideas can find the resources and help to come to market, creating new jobs and businesses in our region."

The submission deadline for this competition is March 16, 2009.  Additional information about AC-NET and the Clean Tech Business Plan Competition are available online at www.ACNET-Anaheim.net or by phone at 877-79-ACNET.

Flipswap Receives $14 Million in Series B Financing


Flipswap, a Los Angeles-based mobile phone and iPod trade-in and recycling company, announced today that it has obtained $14 million in a Series B financing round from RRE Ventures and NGEN Partners

Flipswap was founded in 2005 and enables consumers to trade in their mobile phone or Apple iPod and obtain cash, make a donation, or receive credit for a new device.  The company also provides a variety of merchant services to brick and mortar stores, websites, and non-profit organizations.  Since Flipswap’s launch in 2005, consumers have provided Flipswap with more than 700,000 devices.  According to the company, in 2007 it placed enough mobile phones back into circulation to keep the equivalent of 50 tons of solid waste out of U.S. landfills.

“We saw a novel way to apply incentive principles to worldwide challenges of electronic waste. It’s an important mission,” says Sohrob Farudi, CEO of Flipswap. “We are fortunate to have found strong and forward thinking partners; it’s a huge vote of confidence for Flipswap to be recognized as an innovator with the backing of two leading firms during these tough economic times.”

“Flipswap is directly tackling issues of electronic waste and environmental sustainability through a highly scalable business model,” said Rosemary Ripley, managing director with NGEN. “With this investment we see significant opportunities to grow the Flipswap brand, platform and distribution footprint.”

“We were impressed with Flipswap’s innovative business approach to this growing global challenge, as well as their ability to execute and build momentum despite market conditions,” said Harsh Patel, venture partner with RRE Ventures. “We are delighted to support companies committed to positive environmental impact through entrepreneurship.” 

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SolarReserve Receives $140 Million in Series B Financing


SolarReserve, a developer of utility scale renewable energy solar power plants, recently announced it has closed a $140 million Series B round of funding.  The financing was led by Sustainable Development Investments (SDI) (the renewable energy private equity group within Citi Alternative Investments) and Good Energies. Other investors included US Renewables Group (SolarReserve’s founding investor) along with PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (CETF), Nimes Capital, LLC and Credit Suisse.

"Our investment in SolarReserve is part of Citi’s continued commitment to address climate change," stated Citi’s R. Andrew de Pass, Managing Director and Head of SDI. "The technology backing by United Technologies Corp. and the ability of the system to store energy differentiates SolarReserve from other alternative technologies and has the ability to replace conventional fuel burning power plants."

"SolarReserve possesses the leading utility scale, solar thermal technology as well as a world class development team to bring this technology to the market," stated John Breckenridge, Managing Director for Good Energies. "This additional funding provides SolarReserve with the financial resources to aggressively pursue the expanding market for large scale solar energy projects. Good Energies is excited to bring SolarReserve financial support and access to our global renewable energy network."

SolarReserve said that it will use the funds to further its development of more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale power plants in locations across the globe, each ranging in size from 50MW to 300MW.  The company is developing power plants (what it calls "Solar Power Towers") that generate electricity from the sun’s heat.   The image below outlines the company’s technology and approach (click the image to download a larger version):

SolarReserve Technology

SolarReserve’s plants capture the sun’s thermal energy, store the energy in molten salt, and transform the heat into steam-driven turbines that generate electricity.  The molten salt is heated by concentrating the sun’s energy via thousands of mirrors onto a central receiver and, according to the company, is so efficient that the energy can be stored for use during times when direct sunlight is unavailable.  SolarReserve holds the exclusive worldwide license to molten salt power tower solar technology developed by the Rocketdyne division of Hamilton Sundstrand (a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.).

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California Clean Innovation 2008 (CACI) To Take Place on May 9

California Clean Innovation 2008 (CACI) is a one-day conference focusing on the clean technology sector that will place on May 9th at the Thomas Bradley International Hall on the campus of UCLA.  This event is organized by MBAs, faculty, and staff from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Center for the Science & Engineering of Materials at Caltech, and the Rady School of Management at UCSD.

California Clean Innovation 2008 will feature educational sessions and opportunities for networking and business development.  There will be two keynote addresses, 12 panel presentations, a career and technology fair, and a FastPitch Business Case Competition with a $10,000 grand  prize.  The keynotes will be delivered by Ira Ehrenpreis (General Partner, Technology Partners) and Stuart Hemphill (Vice President, Renewable and Alternative Power, Southern California Edison).

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