GE and VCs Invest $63M in 10 Cleantechs Through “Ecoimagination Challenge”

6/23/11Follow @bvbigelow

Fairfield, CT-based GE (NYSE: GE) and four venture capital partners said today they plan to invest a total of $63 million in 10 cleantech companies developing energy-related concepts in solar, communications and software, and building efficiency.

The funding represents the second phase of a crowd-sourcing challenge, this time focused on “Powering Your Home,” that GE launched in January with four venture capital firms, Emerald Technology Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Rockport Capital. With today’s announcement, the partners funding a $200 million pool for the “GE ecoimagination Challenge” have so far committed to invest $134 million in companies developing advances in home energy and power grid technologies

The recepients include cleantech companies in three Xconomy cities: Boston, San Francisco and San Diego. GE says its challenge has resulted in a total of 22 new commercial partnerships, as well as the acquisition of FMC-Tech, a smart grid technology company in Shannon, Ireland, that was among 12 companies that received funding in the first-round awards announced last year.

The amount of funding invested in individual companies was not disclosed. The companies are:

Ember, Boston, MA (Communications and software)

GMZ Energy, Waltham, MA (solar systems and services; co-investment with KPCB)

Hara, San Mateo, CA (Communications and software; co-investment with KPCB)

Nuventix, Austin, TX (Building efficiency)

On-Ramp Wireless, San Diego, CA (Communications and software)

Project Frog, San Francisco, CA (Building efficiency; co-investment with RockPort Capital)

SunRun, San Francisco, CA (Residential solar systems and services; co-investment with Foundation Capital)

Viridity Energy, Conshohocken, PA (Communications and software)

VPhase, Manchester, UK (Building efficiency)

WiTricity, Watertown, MA (Communications and software)

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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