Semifinalists From Around the Country and World to Compete for $2.5 Million in Prizes

July 15, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the 19 semifinalists for the 76West Clean Energy Competition, one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting entrepreneurs to build clean energy businesses and economic development. The competition supports the Climate Leadership and Protection Act (CLPA) – the most aggressive climate change program in the nation with a mandate for an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and economy-wide carbon-neutrality – by spurring innovative solutions for clean energy in New York’s Southern Tier. The competition also complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development in the Southern Tier region.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Over the past few years it has been exciting to watch previous 76West winners expand their companies and join the Southern Tier’s growing clean energy ecosystem and add to the state’s rapidly-growing clean energy workforce. The innovative technologies offered by this year’s semifinalists have tremendous potential to expand the region’s success and support New York’s path to carbon neutrality under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. I look forward to watching them advance through the competition.”

The 76West Competition is designed to further develop the community of clean energy technology innovators, industry experts, educators, and investors, as well as help startups get early users for their technologies. The 19 semifinalists, representing a diverse spectrum of clean energy technologies such as energy storage, energy efficiency, transportation and renewable energy, were chosen from a pool of 169 applicants based in 14 countries and 21 states. Each company will be paired with a mentor before pitching their companies to a panel of judges from August 7 through August 8 at Binghamton University. The judges will then recommend the six finalists who will receive a total of $2.5 million in prizes. Winners will be revealed in the fall.

The 76West finalists are:

New York State

Central New York

  • Cortland Research, Homer

Finger Lakes

  • Paradigm of New York, Rochester

New York City

  • Allied Microbiota, Brooklyn
  • OXTO Energy, Queens

Southern Tier

  • Heat Inverse, Ithaca
  • Syndem, Binghamton
  • SunDesnity, Vestal

Western New York

  • Clean Fiber, Buffalo


  • Blue Frontier, Parkland, Florida
  • Cambridge Crops, Somerville, Massachusetts
  • FlashCharge Batteries, Aventura, Florida
  • Optimus Technologies, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • PolyJoule, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Prosumer Grid, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Radical Plastics, Marblehead, Massachusetts


  • Biolive, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Carbon Upcycling Technologies, Calgary, Canada
  • Ionomr, Vancouver, Canada
  • SWTCH Energy, Toronto, Canada

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

76West winners from the first three rounds, such as Rochester-based EkoStinger, Ireland-based Hub Controls and Dallas-based Skyven Technologies, have integrated and expanded their business operations into the Southern Tier. In total, previous grand prize and other 76West winners have raised $28 million in private capital, made multimillion-dollar investments in property and equipment in the region, and spent more than $1.7 million on key suppliers.

As a recipient of a 76West award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier economy, such as a supply chain partnership, job development with Southern Tier companies, or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that helps spur economic development and creates jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.

New York State has made a significant investment in the Southern Tier to attract a talented workforce, grow business and drive innovation. The Southern Tier is already home to nation-leading companies and universities that are spurring innovation and leading global research. Last year, Governor Cuomo announced the opening of the first state-supported clean energy incubator in the Southern Tier to support the region’s growing clean energy ecosystem. With the addition of New York’s 76West winners, the Southern Tier continues to be a leading region for clean tech development and a model for other regions across the state and nationally.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available at opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..