Two ASU student led companies are semifinalists in Clean Tech Open’s competition

reNature Inc. and SmrtEn, two Arizona State University (ASU) student-led companies, have placed as semifinalists in the Clean Tech Open’s 2012 Rocky Mountain Regional competition. The Cleantech Open, the world’s largest cleantech accelerator program, holds regional competitions to filter semifinalists into their national competition. The Rocky Mountain regional competition included more than 50 entries from 6 states including Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The 20 semifinalists will now compete for regional prizes totaling $20,000 in cash and services as well as a bid to the national competition.

“Cleantech is a core focus of our economic development efforts in the 21st century, and the Rocky Mountain region is seeing an abundance of entrepreneurs who are developing new and better technologies that make us a national cleantech leader,” said Richard Franklin, Rocky Mountain regional director of the Cleantech Open. “I salute the semifinalist winners today for their vision and commitment to building long-term economic growth and the success of a sustainable economy.”

Regional semi-finalist SmrtEn applies advances in cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence to address the energy challenge by offering Decision as a Service. Their debut service remotely programs home thermostats on a continual basis to save homeowners up to 50% of their heating and cooling costs. By aggregating the data to smooth the peak-demand for electricity, SmrtEn can also help utility companies reduce their Carbon Dioxide emissions by as much as 27%.

“Participating in the CleanTech open was an eye-opening experience. I realized that it was not good enough to have a great idea that would save the planet” said Som Shahapurkar, Founder and CEO of SmrtEn. “I learned that my Pitch needed revamping, my business plan needed work and my financial projections could use more substance. I learned that programs like the Cleantech Open and the Edson program can help me get through these issues and advance SmrtEn to do what I originally intended for he business: to save energy and make sure the planet remains a beautiful place for the next generation to make something incredible”.

reNature Inc., also a regional semi-finalist, is working to close the nutrient loop. reNature’s process seeks to keep food scraps and compostable waste out of landfills. The by-products of food scraps and compostable waste are natural fertilizers and polymers that have a lower disposal costs for organizations and municipalities and can reduced environmental liability.

“We are eager to participate in the 2012 Cleantech Open,” said David A. Metoyer, CEO of reNature Inc. “Being a semi-finalist in the Cleantech Open will provide us with key industry insight on how to deliver a marketable product backed by a business model that investors can get excited about.”

Check out the full press release here.