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Innovation and inspiration were the hallmarks of the Sacramento Clean Tech Showcase held Tuesday at Sacramento State’s University Union.
Nearly 800 attendees packed the day long conference and expo to be inspired by leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in clean tech speaking to the conference theme, “Building on Success: New Opportunities Ahead.” The latest innovations in solar, wind, biofuel, and energy-efficient technologies were on display in the exhibit hall and on Serna Plaza.
The event, organized by SARTA’s CleanStart, and presented by SMUD and Sacramento State among other sponsors, brought together the region’s most influential leaders in renewable energy and environmental technology with 90 companies exhibiting their products and technologies and seven of the region’s most innovative startups known as Fresh Faces.
"Through SARTA, Greenfreak will gain critical and necessary contacts to enhance our business and gain the distinction [our] business model warrants. " Ilya Lerma, Greenfreak LLC, Fresh Faces Innovator
On Serna Plaza, transportation efficiency and alternatives – hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, compressed natural gas fueling, biofuels, and refueling/charging technology were on display. California Sunlight demonstrated a solar cook stove that can follow the path of the Sun to increase usable cook time and energy efficiency.
"The Showcase is an opportunity to network with people who I see as visionaries, people of action, forward thinking. Also to learn what's being worked on, and what the emerging trends are." Tony Woicekowski, Concord Energy Strategies, LLC, Showcase Exhibitor
Featured speakers from the public sector were Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Mayor Kevin Johnson, City of Sacramento, and Kim Walesh, Chief Strategist for the City of San José, sharing her city’s experience of building a regional clean tech cluster. Mark Miller, CEO of Project Frog, shared his vision for The Leading Edge in Building Efficiency: Advanced Energy Efficient Building Systems and the Impact for Sacramento.
The highlights of the afternoon were the presentations from the region’s emerging clean tech companies (“Fresh Faces”) in our region ”: Ben Castillo, Training Logistics Coordinator, SMA America; Ilya Lerma, Founder and CEO, Greenfreak, LLC; Ken Oosting, Chairman and Chief Development Officer, Inspired Solar Technologies, Inc.; Summer Pennino, Governmental Affairs and Marketing, Electric Vehicles International; Mark Roberts, CEO, Springboard Biodiesel, LLC; Shilpa Sankaran, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing, ZETA Communities.
The Sacramento region was recently hailed as a national leader in clean tech innovation and entrepreneurship by Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman primarily because of the collective efforts of the public and private sector groups.
The number of clean technology firms in the Sacramento area has tripled in the last four years from 30 to more than 110. In addition, 165 installation, engineering, sales and service, and consulting firms that provide support to clean tech companies, for a total industry of 275 companies here. Sacramento has among the fastest rate of growth in green jobs in the country. Green jobs jumped 87% between 2000-2008, resulting in about 13,100 jobs here, both in manufacturing and in support services.
“There is a growing momentum in forming new clean tech companies in Sacramento,” said Gary Simon, CleanStart’s co-Chairman. “The region has great assets in world-class research facilities, a growing community of entrepreneurs looking to change the world and great access to government funding and venture capital.”
Learn more about CleanStart and the Clean Tech Showcase by visiting www.cleanstart.org or www.cleantechshowcase.org