Cleantech Open names 17 Northwest finalists

The Cleantech Open's Northwest chapter announced the year's 17 semifinalists.

The Cleantech Open's Northwest chapter announced the year's 17 semifinalists. 

The Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open announced Thursday its 2012 class of early-stage companies that will represent the region in the national startup competition.

The semifinalists — seven of them from Oregon and greater Portland — were selected from a pool of entrepreneurial companies from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.

The entrepreneurs will participate in a mentoring program to refine their businesses and attend an intensive training called the Cleantech Academy. In October, three of the entrepreneurs will be selected as winners, receiving prizes of up to $20,000 each in cash and services and advancing to the national competition set for November.

One of last's year's regional winners, Portland-based Indow Windows, came in second at the national

"The Cleantech Open and the 17 semifinalists are a strong representation of the Pacific Northwest's deep expertise and ambition in the clean technology and sustainability sector," said Byron McCann, Cleantech Open regional director for the Pacific Northwest, in a press release. "Our region and the entire nation need innovators and high-growth companies focused on sustainable solutions now more than ever."

The 2012 Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open semifinalists are:

• Ameristar Solar of Banks, which makes an efficient tracker system for solar panels designed for remote and off-grid solar installations.

• Earthfort of Corvallis, which has technology to deploy soil micro-organisms to recover contaminated agricultural soil.

• Emigh Design of West Linn, which as developed a novel design to improve efficiency of Stirling thermal engines.

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