Six Winners Out of 175 Applicants Awarded Prizes to Develop Clean Energy Technologies, Grow their Businesses, Create Jobs, and Advance Clean Energy Economy

November 30, 2016

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the six winning companies of the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition – one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean-energy businesses – in the Southern Tier. Micatu, an optical sensor company from Horseheads, Chemung County, was awarded the $1 million grand prize. The competition also awarded one $500,000 prize and four $250,000 prizes to companies for their use of innovative technologies that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make clean energy more affordable. The competition advances the state's effort to have 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030 under the Governor's nation-leading Clean Energy Standard.

“By attracting some of the brightest and most innovative entrepreneurs to the Southern Tier, 76West is spurring economic growth throughout the region while advancing New York’s clean energy economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “I congratulate these winners, whose use of clean energy technology will continue to generate new opportunities in the Southern Tier and help create a cleaner and greener New York.”

The 76West competition supports the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy by fostering cleantech economic development and leadership, and expanding innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier, which has a robust ecosystem in place to support businesses seeking a foothold in New York's thriving clean economy.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winners at an awards ceremony at Binghamton University. The event also kicked off the second round of the 76West competition.

“It was an honor to recognize the inaugural 76West winners today, all of whom have demonstrated their vast potential to develop innovative solutions that help address our energy needs – not only in New York, but across the nation,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, these clean-energy entrepreneurs will play a vital role as we continue to transform the Southern Tier into a thriving, clean tech community.”

The six winners were chosen after a rigorous competition which included multiple pitch sessions to judges and mentoring by local experts. Finalists vied for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, $2.5 million was awarded. The winners are:

$1 million grand prize winner:

  • Micatu – Horseheads, NY: makes an optical sensor that gives highly accurate voltage readings so utilities can reduce energy use, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

$500,000 award winner:

  • Charge CCCV (C4V) – Binghamton, NY: produces energy storage batteries that can be used for telecommunications systems and other industries that need storage with longer lifetimes so they reduce overall cost.

$250,000 award winners:

  • ChromaNanoTech – Binghamton, NY: produces a dye that keeps windows transparent but blocks ultraviolet radiation, so buildings stay cooler and air conditioning loads are reduced.
  • DatArcs – New York City, NY: provides server software that reduces the energy consumption of data centers while maintaining system performance.
  • Global Thermostat – New York City, NY: captures carbon dioxide out of the air, thereby reducing greenhouse gases, then purifies it and sells it to industrial companies that need it for their manufacturing purposes.
  • Besstech – Troy, NY: manufactures silicon components that make energy storage batteries cheaper, fast charging and more environmentally friendly.

The response to 76West demonstrated New York's growing presence as a clean tech leader on the national and international stage. The competition received 175 applications in the first round from across the state, the U.S. and around the world. A total of 71 applications (40 percent) were from businesses already located in the Southern Tier, 70 from other regions of New York State, 23 from other states including California, Massachusetts, Texas and Nevada, and 11 from international applicants from places such as Turkey, Spain, and Israel.

Of the 175 applications, 24 were chosen as semifinalists who underwent a week of mentoring in May. At the end of the week, semifinalists pitched their proposals to judges, who chose the six finalists based on criteria including technical merit, likelihood of business growth, job potential and benefit to the Southern Tier. Over the summer, the six finalists once again pitched their proposals to judges who then recommended the final award winners.

Applications for the second round of the 76West competition will be accepted from December 1, 2016 through March 13, 2017. Companies interested can apply here.

Read the full press release here.

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