Two Twin Cities companies have advanced to the Cleantech Open Global Forum national competition in November.
Arc Suppression Technologies of Bloomington and Viroment of Minneapolis, as well as GRNE Solutions of Nebraska, were named finalists from the Cleantech Open Midwest competition, which features companies with the potential to improve electrical efficiency, waste reduction and renewable energy.
The companies were selected by a panel of Midwest clean-technology business leaders from at the two-day Cleantech Open Midwest Innovation Showcase this week at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.
“The Midwest has an enviable record of sending companies on to the national Cleantech Open finals and seeing them win, and we expect the same from this group of talented young companies,” Mil Ovan, president of Navitas Systems and head judge, said in a prepared statement.
Arc Suppression and Viroment each won $20,000 in cash and in-kind services. GRNE Solutions earned $10,000 in cash and in-kind services as the region’s sustainability award winner.
Arc Suppression Technologies has patented and commercialized low-cost technology that reduces electrical arcing and dramatically extends the life of electromechanical switching relays in everything from refrigeration units to rail-crossing equipment and saves users such as grocery stores thousands of dollars annually, the company and clients say.
Viroment processes municipal wastewater sludge onsite by the gallon, creating two byproducts: a reusable water creating a more closed loop system and an energy pellet used as a pound-for-pound alternative to coal with less carbon emissions. Viroment says its process is safer, faster and less costly than current methods of mandated sludge disposal.
GRNE Solutions is a start-up that focuses on passive methods to produce electrical energy while ensuring both environmental and economic value.
At last year’s Global Forum, Midwest winner 75F came in third place overall.
Companies such as 75F, a Mankato-based growth firm that uses software and weather forecasts to save energy in small commercial buildings, and Garden Fresh Farms, which converts old warehouses to indoor vegetable farms, have raised external capital and added jobs.
Cleantech Open Midwest was founded in 2010. Since inception, the Midwest programs have worked with 90 start-up companies and raised over $20 million in external capital.