Startups Picked To Compete for New York’s $1 Million Clean Energy Prize

clean energy prize
(Image Credit: NYSERDA)

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) named 20 finalists for its national 76West Clean Energy Competition encouraging clean energy development in the Southern Tier region.

Now in its third year, the $20 million competition invites startups to apply for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award, and four $250,000 awards. A panel of judges awards prizes based on clean energy impact such as reducing GHG emissions, customer value, business model viability, technical viability, the team’s quality and readiness to deliver, as well as the potential for job creation in the Southern Tier.

“Think of it as an 8,605-square-mile incubator space for your startup,” NYSERDA’s site says.

Winning clean energy startups based out-of-state must demonstrate economic impact in one of several ways in order to meet prize requirements. For example, establishing a primary manufacturing facility in the region or making capital investments in property, plant, and equipment at a Southern Tier location that’s substantially larger than the 76West award amount.

The 20 finalists were chosen from a pool of 152 applicants hailing from over a dozen countries and 27 states:

New York State

Capital Region

  • Connexus Controls, Albany

Finger Lakes

  • Crystal Creek Organics, Rochester
  • EkoStinger, Rochester
  • Molecular Glasses, Rochester
  • Tyll Solar, Rochester
  • WexEnergy, Rochester

New York City

  • Allied Microbiota, New York City

Southern Tier

  • Capro-X, Ithaca
  • Ecolectro, Ithaca
  • Empower Equity, Ithaca
  • Southern Tier Technologies, Endwell


  • Active Energy Systems, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Inovues, Houston, Texas
  • mIQroTech, State College, Pennsylvania
  • PassiveLogic, Holladay, Utah
  • Peroxygen Systems, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • SteamIQ, Hingham, Massachusetts
  • Switched Source, Detroit, Michigan


  • Hub Controls, Dublin, Ireland
  • Materium, Quebec, Canada

Throughout July, the finalists will receive mentoring and business development as part of the competition cycle. Finalists will conduct business development trips to the Southern Tier as well as work with their mentors to plan and refine pitches. A three-day live pitching event takes place in the region later this summer. Prize winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in September, per NYSERDA’s timeline.

Over the past several months, NYSERDA has invested millions of dollars in energy-related initiatives. Past 76West Clean Energy Competition winners have gone on to raise $20 million in private capital and created new jobs, the public benefit corporation says.

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