Governor Cuomo Launches Third Round of 76West Clean Energy Competition

Cleantech Companies Compete for Six Awards Totaling $2.5 Million - Applications Accepted Through April 16, 2018

December 04, 2017

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 76West Clean Energy Competition is now accepting applications from emerging clean energy companies for its third round. 76West is one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean energy businesses and economic development, and complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.

"76West attracts innovative companies and jobs to the Southern Tier and supports our efforts to build a strong clean energy economy across New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The third round of the competition will encourage even more emerging clean energy companies to grow their businesses in the Southern Tier and join us in our support of clean energy technologies to fight climate change."

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the 76West Competition, which will accept applications through April 16, 2018. A group of up to 20 finalists will be selected and brought to the Southern Tier next spring to meet with mentors, who will connect them with prospective local partners, industry leaders, potential sources of funding, and other resources within the region. The finalists will then pitch their companies to a group of judges who will recommend the six winners to receive a total of $2.5 million in prizes ($1 million grand prize, one $500,000 prize and four $250,000 awards). Winners will be announced later next year.

As a condition of the award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain relationship or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that create jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.

76West supports Governor Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers through economic development and expanding innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier. The Southern Tier is already home to nation-leading companies and universities which are spurring innovation and leading global research.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, "Incentivizing clean energy innovation in the Southern Tier through the 76 West competition is further evidence of Governor Cuomo's commitment to creating even more jobs and opportunities in this region of the State. Investing in renewable energy and other clean energy solutions also ensures a cleaner environment and stronger economy for future generations of New Yorkers."

Previous 76West Competition winners are already contributing to the region's successful cleantech ecosystem, having already raised $20 million in private capital for future growth and created new jobs. Some recent accomplishments of past 76West Competition winners include:

Micatu, Inc.: $1 million grand prize winner (2016)

  • Micatu makes an optical sensor that gives highly accurate voltage and current readings so utilities can reduce energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since winning the first 76West competition, the company has established, and is maintaining, its primary manufacturing facility in the Southern Tier and has purchased goods and services from nearby vendors totaling $430,000.

C4V: $500,000 award winner (2016)

  • C4V produces batteries that can be used for telecommunications systems and other industries that need energy storage with longer lifetimes so they reduce overall cost. In October, Governor Cuomo announced C4V was one of three companies that will spearhead Imperium3 New York, a consortium of energy storage businesses that will establish research and development and production operations at the Huron Campus in Endicott (Broome County). The consortium will invest more than $130 million and create at least 230 new jobs over the next five years, building on the state's new law to develop an energy storage deployment goal and policy that will pave the way for additional energy storage projects that can deliver benefits to all New Yorkers.

Global Thermostat: $250,000 award winner (2016)

  • Global thermostat captures carbon dioxide directly from the air, thereby reducing greenhouse gases, then purifies it and sells it to industrial companies that need it for their manufacturing purposes. Earlier this year, the company raised $20 million from prominent private investors, bringing the total investment raised to $51 million.

EthosGen: $250,000 award winner (2017)

  • EthosGen captures and transforms waste heat to resilient, renewable on-site electric power. Since winning in August, the company has moved its entire research and development operation from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to NYSERDA's incubator in the Southern Tier at Binghamton University.

SolarKal: $250,000 award winner (2017)

  • SolarKal provides a brokerage service to help businesses simplify the solar purchasing process. The company has hired a professional broker in the Southern Tier and was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative's Solar in Your Community Challenge, a $5 million initiative to expand solar access across the United States. Over the next 18 months, SolarKal will focus on enhancing solar services to non-profits and community centers.

This past October, NYSERDA opened its first incubator in the Southern Tier to support 76West winners and other clean energy technology companies. The Southern Tier Clean Energy Incubator, which provides space, technical support and assistance for clean technology companies, is being managed by Binghamton University and located in downtown Binghamton, in the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator building.

The incubator is in addition to the state's six other clean energy incubators located in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, New York City and Long Island. As of March 31, 2017, there were 163 companies that are current clients or graduates of NYSERDA-sponsored clean energy incubators. These companies have raised more than $313 million in private investment since 2009, including nearly $70 million in 2016 alone, a 32 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, they are currently generating over 1,075 jobs in the clean energy industry throughout the State.

This is the third year of 76West, a $20 million competition and support program administered by NYSERDA that started in 2016 and will run through 2019. Each year applicants compete for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, 76West will provide $10 million in awards and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.

Richard Kaufman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, "Under Cuomo, 76West Competition is supporting successful clean energy entrepreneurs and start-up companies interested in joining the robust community of the Southern Tier. Not only are these companies developing clean technologies, they are bringing new economic vitality to a region that is directly helping New York build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system to combat climate change for all New Yorkers."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "Through successful initiatives like the 76West Competition, Governor Cuomo is positioning New York at the forefront of the burgeoning clean energy innovation economy. The 76West Competition has already brought some of the hottest cleantech companies to the Southern Tier and I look forward to welcoming the next group of promising startups to become part of its thriving ecosystem."

Visit NYSERDA's website for more information on the 76West Competition, application information and to see a complete list of previous winners.

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