Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Norcal Entrepreneurs Bankroll Clean Technology Challenge
A group of Northern California entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and service providers have launched a new, statewide competition for encouraging clean technology innovation. The California Clean Tech Open was launched in San Francisco yesterday, with a focus on providing clean technology entrepreneurs with money and services to turn their ideas into real businesses. The new competition, launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Club of Northern California (MITCNC), encourages professional and students to submit their proposals in five categories in the area of energy. The proposals will be judged by venture capitalists, researchers, and university faculty. A group of entrepreneurs-- Derry and Charlene Kabcenell, Mark Farley, Frank H. Levinson, Geoff Ralston, and Michael and Amy Santullo--have provided charter funding for the competition. Kabcenell was a vice president at Oracle, Levinson is the founder of Finisar, Ralston is Yahoo's Chief Product Officer, and Michael Santullo was founder of Four11 and Rocketmail. Venture Capital firms involved include Advanced Technology Ventures, Chevron Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Foundation Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Bay Area Equity Fund, and Venrock Associates.