SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Greenstart, the first accelerator program exclusively designed for the cleantech industry, hosted its first "Investor Day" yesterday at the company's San Francisco headquarters. The event allowed its first cohort of startups the opportunity to pitch their companies to more than 100 angel and venture capital investors.
Investor Day also marked the completion of twelve weeks of intensive mentoring, networking and business development for the chosen companies, which began on September 20.
The inaugural Greenstart companies, SmarterShade, Sylvatex, Tenrehte Technologies, and Wa.tt, were all chosen in a highly-selective process from an initial pool of 129 applicants, and focus on some of the most critical areas in the cleantech sector: energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart appliances and consumer web.
SmarterShade proprietary smart glass technology is 50% more cost effective than current solutions and will disrupt the $5 billion market. Its smart glass allows varying levels of light to enter through a window based on user controls. SmarterShade received the $100,000 Kleiner Perkins Clean Tech Prize at the 2011 Rice University Business Plan Competition.
Sylvatex has developed a proprietary fuel technology that can save the diesel industry more than $10 billion annually, while also producing a cleaner fuel. The company was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" at the 2011 Silicon Valley Launch conference.
Tenrehte Technologies is the maker of PICOwatt, a WiFi enabled smart plug designed to address the real‐time energy monitoring and control market. PICOwatt won Best of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 in the Green product section.
Zynga meets Opower. Wa.tt applies advanced gaming and social features to make understanding and saving money on energy fun, social and simple.
The Greenstart program is built around mentorship, and the companies received more than 200 hours of direct coaching from accomplished entrepreneurs and investors. Among the mentors were: Will Glaser, founder of Pandora; Bill Young, Former CEO of Volkswagen America; Brook Porter, Partner at Kleiner Perkins; Teddy Zmrhal, entrepreneur and instructor at the Haas School of Business; Jim Matheson, General Partner at Flagship Ventures; David Perry, CEO at Anacor; Ben Kaufman, CEO at Quirky; Paul Lego, serial entrepreneur and CEO at Bespoke Innovations; Sean Schickedanz, Partner at Clean Pacific Ventures; Susan Preston, Partner at CalCEF Clean Energy Fund; Rob Koch, successful entrepreneur and former Partner at NGEN; Steve Wilhite, former VP of Marketing at Apple, Nissan and Volkswagen and former President of Hyundai; Andrew Williamson, Partner at Physic Ventures; Paul Straub, Partner at Claremont Creek Ventures; Stewart Alsop, Partner at Alsop Louie, and Mark Tarpenning, co-founder of Tesla Motors.
Along with the mentoring program, Greenstart granted the four participating companies access to valuable business resources, including office space in downtown San Francisco, product testing support at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, showcasing opportunities at UC Berkeley, access to the City of San Francisco, legal counsel, grant writing assistance and design support. In addition, Greenstart invested between $25,000 and $100,000 in each company.
"We've been impressed with the growth we've seen from all four of our companies. They've been able to validate their business models, find customers, create 12-month plans, and develop relationships with important suppliers and partners," said Greenstart Managing Partner Mitch Lowe. "The investor audience today really seemed to appreciate the value offered by each of these companies, and we're confident that this afternoon's presentations are going to get some great results."
Greenstart has already completed the application process for their next session, which will begin on February 13. Companies interested in subsequent startup sessions are invited to submit information via the Greenstart website, www.greenstart.com.
Greenstart is a cleantech accelerator program providing a fast runway to success for entrepreneurs addressing the energy challenge. Greenstart provides seed funding, mentoring, and connections in order to give startups an advantage in launching the cleantech ideas of tomorrow. The company is based in San Francisco. Additional information can be found at www.greenstart.com.