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Clean Tech Open entrepreneurs win bigIn a relatively inhospitable economy for tech start-ups, the Clean Tech Open and its six $100,000 cash prizes are like oases in the desert. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports from the 2008 awards show in San Francisco which celebrated the best clean and green...
[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Hey there, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com, at the Third Annual Clean Tech Open in San Francisco. And think of this event as, like, a science fair for adults with green technology. But instead of winning just, you know, a little blue ribbon, you actually get 50 thousand dollars in cash, and then an additional 50 grand to really launch your business off the ground -- pretty exciting stuff. There's 43 finalists here. Let's go see who's got their fingers crossed with their eye on the prize. ^M00:00:31 [ Music ] ^M00:00:36 >> So the Clean Tech Open is about giving the entrepreneur in a clean tech space all the resources they need to be able to take an idea from concept to reality. And the key way we do that is through a business plan competition, which is where -- what we are giving awards to tonight. >> What are those six categories? >> So the six categories are renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart power, air, water, and waste, transportation, and green building. >> Ed, what are we sitting in? This is a cute little yellow something. >> This car has been fueled by solar electric power at a zero fuel cost and zero emissions. >> So this is what looks like if a disco ball and a satellite dish were to have a baby. We've got this highly reflected thing right here. Why don't you tell us what it is? >> Okay. This is an exact replica of the mirrors on the Hubble telescope. What it does is that we are going to collect the lights, the sunlight, and direct it toward the wave guide. And the wave guide goes and transfers the heat into the cold-water intake of the water heater. >> There still has to be some sort of material folded around that baby. What kind of material are we talking about? >> It's a couple of different types of material. So the bulk of the product is a reusable material, and it's completely recycled and recyclable. >> Over the moon diapers ended up taking first place in the category of Air, Water, and Waste. >> All right all you movie buffs. You see the lights behind me? These were actually used in the filming of the brand new James Bond movie. But these aren't ordinary movie lights. Why don't you explain, Jim, what makes them so special. >> They're LED-based lights. They're high-brightness LEDs that are about 75 percent more energy efficient than tungsten halogen. They'll last 25 times longer and generate 80 percent less heat. So when you're in a studio situation, it makes it a lot better, a nice, cool environment to work in. Yeah, there's no toxic, heavy metals in any of the components. And when you're done, we'd like it back so we could recycle everything. >> Tell me why you bothered making a trip all the way out from Washington to be here. >> Well, the California Clean Tech Open brings together a really important ingredient of entrepreneurship and innovation that's gonna be needed to help get our clean energy technologies out of the laboratory and into the marketplace. >> In what's being called the worst financial crisis in a hundred years, where venture capital money is getting harder and harder to find, this kind of prize could make the difference between survival and failure for some of these startups. >> For a complete list of winners, visit our website, news.cnet.com. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com. ^E00:03:02