Sustainable Systems International Wins a “Cleanie”

Sustainable Systems International Wins a “Cleanie” — a National Cleantech Startup Prize at Academy Awards of Cleantech

Gaithersburg-based Company Receives Sustainability Prize and National Recognition for Mid-Atlantic Cleantech Community

 Washington, D.C., November 19, 2012Sustainable Systems International (SSI) has won the National Sustainability prize presented at the Cleantech Open Global Forum in San Jose, Calif. This recognition marks the first time in the history of the Cleantech Open that a Mid-Atlantic team has won an award at the Global Forum. SSI beat out six emerging environmental and energy technology startups from across the country that competed for the sustainability prize.  SSI of Gaithersburg, Md., will bring home a total prize worth $11,000 cash and services. This is the inaugural year for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the Cleantech Open with three teams competing at the Global Forum.

The team was awarded the prize at the Cleantech Open Global Forum — “Academy Awards of Clean Technology,” which marked the grand finale of the Cleantech Open’s yearlong National Business Competition, as well as the culmination of the Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition. The event was held as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week. Approximately 1,000 enthusiasts and experts, including contestants, alumni teams from previous years, mentors, venture capitalists and sponsors, attended the two-day festival of cleantech innovation and entrepreneurship.

”We are honored to be recognized by the Cleantech Open for our social, environmental and economic approach to our business that also reflects the mission of many B Corporations,” said John Spears, co-founder of SSI.  “Using solar power, instead of diesel or coal improves the environment, enables the money saved on fuel to stay in the local economy, both of which promotes growth and prosperity for the people in the community.  The whole point of what we are doing is to help people.”

“Participating in the Cleantech Open has greatly accelerated and strengthened our company,” said Rick Whittemore, co-founder of SSI.  “We look forward to continuing the many relationships that we made throughout the process.”

SSI develops, manufactures and services modular, sustainable and environmentally friendly infrastructure systems. Solar power milk chillers for off grid applications are the company’s initial product. Future plans include products to meet fundamental needs for electricity, clean water, sanitation, communications and housing.

Last month SSI was one of three finalists – along with CCEIS and Micronic Technologies – that were selected by a panel of Mid-Atlantic cleantech business leaders to represent the region at the 2012 Cleantech Open Global Forum. Hundreds of enthusiastic, investors, business leaders and public officials from the national cleantech community attended this year’s Global Forum to network with dozens of alumni companies and regional semifinalists.  The Forum provides a platform for each of the top 25 national finalists pitch their business concepts to a panel of investors and industry leaders.

“2012 was a landmark year for Cleantech Open Mid-Atlantic, with our largest and most geographically diverse group of applicants and finalists, an incredibly talented group of mentors, and our most rigorous accelerator programming to date. SSI’s win at the Global Forum demonstrates the great business ideas coming out of our region and the strength of the Mid-Atlantic cleantech community in supporting these entrepreneurs,” said Joshua C. Green, Mid-Atlantic regional director of Cleantech Open.

About The Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech accelerator and is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Over the past seven years, the Cleantech Open has awarded over $5 million in cash and services. During that time, our 581 alumni companies have raised more than $660 million in external funding. Fueled by a network of more than 2,000 volunteers, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @cleantechopenma and Facebook.

The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided Global Partner, Chevron; National Education Partner, University of Phoenix; and National Sponsor, Wells Fargo. In addition, Cleantech Open Mid-Atlantic is sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati (multi-region), Deloitte (multi-region), Jones Lang Lasalle (multi-region), The Dow Chemical Company (multi-region), PricewaterhouseCoopers (multi-region), Walmart, Commercial Energy, Faegre & Benson, Google, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Mintz Levin, Patton Boggs, PG&E, Reed Smith, and many others.

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Cleantech Open Mid-Atlantic

Laura Taylor



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