Feb 25, 2008

Seagate to Award $10,000 to Finalist in 'Cleantech Venture' Competition at Sustainable Opportunities Summit in Denver, February 27-29

LONGMONT, Colo. - Later this week, business leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs from the U.S. and beyond will come together to address one of the biggest challenges of our time—developing business opportunities that are both environmentally sound and profitable. Presenting at the 2008 Sustainable Opportunities Summit in Denver will be Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and keynote speaker Jeff Kiehl, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Summit, which is sponsored by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business and CORE, Colorado’s leading sustainable business trade association, will also feature the Deming Center’s third annual Cleantech Venture Challenge, a business plan competition between eight “cleantech” startups from universities in the U.S. and Canada. Venture capitalists will judge the presentations of four finalists, one of which will receive a cash award of $10,000 from Seagate Technology.

“We’re pleased to be a part of a movement in higher education to drive technical innovation through startup companies in the cleantech sector,” said Seagate’s Andy Davis, vice president of Design Engineering. “Our hope is that many entrepreneurs will follow their lead in developing viable businesses that help reduce society’s impact on the environment and leverage technology in unique new ways.”

The 2008 Cleantech Venture Challenge (CVC) is the premier international student competition showcasing emerging opportunities in the cleanteach sector. The CVC, now in its third year, is one of only three such competitions in the U.S. (see story in BusinessWeek March 19, 2007). Several startups from past CVC competitions are now in operation throughout the U.S., including Green Flight, Inc., based in Grand Forks, N.D., Stellaris Corp., based in Lowell, Mass.; Bright Light Innovations, based in Fort Collins, Colo.; and Goldwater Solar Services, based in Toronto.

In addition to Seagate’s cash award, finalists in the 2008 Cleantech Venture Challenge will be competing to win a $25,000 award from G.C. Andersen Partners, LLC.

“Growing competition for resources and related environmental issues is creating substantial opportunities for profitable ventures in sustainability,” said Paul Jerde, executive director of the Deming Center. “Venture capitalists and others are looking for innovation, new technologies and new ventures to serve existing and emerging markets in sustainability. The Deming Center Cleantech Venture Challenge provides students an opportunity to compete for some of those dollars.”

The 2008 Sustainable Opportunities Summit will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Denver Southeast, located in the Denver Tech Center, at 6363 E. Hampden Avenue. Early registration begins at 4:00 p.m. on February 27, followed by general registration and a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Summit includes seminars titled: “Moving Toward Clean Energy,” “Reducing Your Company’s Carbon Footprint,” “Tourism Turns to Sustainability,” “Sustainability Changes to the Supply Chain,” and “CORE Member Innovation,” featuring success stories from CORE member entrepreneurs who have launched new businesses ahead of major social trends and continued as industry leaders as their markets matured. The Cleantech Venture Challenge Business Plan Finals will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on February 29, with winning teams announced at 1:00 p.m.

About the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship
The Robert H. and Beverly A. Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business is consistently ranked in the top 10 to 15 schools in the nation for entrepreneurship education. It recently received the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers’ Award for Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education for its Sustainable Venturing Initiative and is recognized among top programs that have found innovative ways to help students who are studying sustainability and entrepreneurship. For more information visit: http://leeds.colorado.edu/entrep.

About CORE
Connected Organizations for a Responsible Economy (CORE) is Colorado’s leading sustainable business trade association, enhancing the economic vitality and competitive positioning of its members by assisting them in integrating socially and environmentally responsible business practices into profitable commercial enterprises. CORE develops cutting-edge training and education programs, provides valuable tools and resources and assists its members in developing and sharing best practices. More information about CORE and its members is available at corecolorado.org.

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate’s business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, with the goal of being the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world’s growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

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