NW Energy Angels Winter Showcase Highlights 7 Up-and-Coming Local Cleantech Companies

12/13/10

Twice a year the Northwest Energy Angels put on a showcase where the organization’s investors can talk shop, and local cleantech companies have the opportunity to update the group of angels—many of whom have backed them in the past—on their recent accomplishments. It’s a chance for the growing organization to benchmark its success in facilitating relations between cleantech entrepreneurs and potential investors looking to provide early-stage capital to up-and-coming cleantech companies here in the Northwest.

“It’s been a year already— an excellent time to bore you with lots and lots of statistics about what’s happened over this last year,” angel Lars Johansson joked in his address at the group’s holiday party/winter showcase on Friday at the Talaris Conference Center.

Over the last year the NW Energy Angels, founded in 2006 by local entrepreneur Martin Tobias and state lawmaker Jeff Morris, have made some substantial strides. In March the group hired on new executive director Margo Shiroyama, who has spent her first nine months on the job growing the group’s scope—growing the organization’s resources and events for cleantech companies and investors, including research field trips, new member programs, and investor discussion groups, a project spearheaded by one of the group’s members, Kiki Tidwell.

The group itself has grown from 45 active members at the time of its summer showcase in July, to more than 53, and has invested more than $3 million in 20 cleantech companies in the region to date.

The rest of the night was turned over to company presentations and mingling. Though all of these companies had presented at previous NW Energy Angels events, they were all in varying stages of development—some approaching third and fourth investment rounds, while others were just completing due diligence. Some we’ve reported on before, others are brand new. Take a look at these highlights from the presenting cleantech companies:

MicroGREEN Polymers (Arlington, WA)

This company, which develops technology to recycle plastics into cheaper, environmentally friendly items, such as coffee cups, has been on our radar for some time. MicroGREEN Polymers raised $6.9 million in a Series B round back in May, funding that allowed it to build a new facility in Arlington, which is “now filled with $6 million worth of equipment” leading to toward commercialization, according to CEO Tom Malone. “We’re cranking out products,” he says. That financing was followed up by an additional $2.7 million last month, in a round that is still open and could be worth as much as $3.75 million. While Malone says the company is six months behind schedule, he’s excited to announce that MicroGREEN currently has samples in the hands of 2,000 customers. “I’ve never been higher about the company,” he says. “No doubt you’re going to see us announcing great things in the next quarter.”

G2B Ventures (Seattle, WA)

G2B Ventures, also known as G2B Holdings, is a Seattle-based real estate consulting and redevelopment company that buys homes, retrofits them for green, energy efficient technologies, and resells them for a profit. Chairman and CEO Aaron Fairchild says G2B is “racing to revenues,” having just closed a round on Friday. “The money just came into our account today, so we’re really fired up about that,” he says, adding that NW Energy Angels investments accounted for one third of the round. The new funding, according to Fairchild, will back the company’s new home renovation venture, getting started under the name “Green Canopy Homes.”

Farm Power Northwest (Skagit County, WA)

This company, which also presented at the summer showcase, is in a different kind of clean tech business—manure. The company, which develops, owns and operates energy harnessing manure digester facilities out of backcountry dairy farms in Washington and Canada, just closed its third round … Next Page »

Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at theachard@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theachard. Follow @

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