Innovation and Inspiration Converge at Clean Tech Showcase

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 or

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October 29, 2010 | 6:32 AM

I attended this event and was amazed by the number of exhibitors and the quality of the speakers. This was the 4th annual Sacramento Clean Tech Showcase and the buzz I heard throughout the day was that this event gains momentum every year. I found both Congresswoman Matsui’s and Mayor Kevin Johnson’s remarks on Sacramento’s clean tech be very encouraging. If you are interested in clean tech, renewable energy, green building but were not able to attend, you missed an important event for the region! Be sure to attend next year’s Showcase!

October 29, 2010 | 7:26 AM

~When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do ~

The only Green product the sacramento area is going to produce is methane ~ a byproduct of wishful thinking.

Sacramento will never be anything but a service and government employment economy – with some urban sprawl development thrown in – Didn’t the late 90′s teach anyone ANYTHING! Innovative technology may be developed here, and from the sound of it if the Democrats and Matsui have their way the tax payers will be forced to invest – but as soon as the technology is ready for prime time – and a few insiders have made some profits- all the manufacturing will be shipped overseas to China the technology ripped off and it will be sold worldwide – thanks suckers.

October 29, 2010 | 10:31 AM

Nothing will ever change if everyone had a pessimistic mindset like yours. You call it reality, many of us call it opportunity. Why don’t you get involved as opposed to sitting on the sidelines complaining not doing anything? The point of this whole movement is to keep ideas and manufacturing here. I know…’s way easier to sit around and complain. Keep that mindset and we’ll see where you are in 10 years.

October 29, 2010 | 8:30 AM

I left inspired. One particularly helpful discussion was New Drivers of Opportunity: How changes in AB 32, AB 811 and the stimulus act will reshape the regional clean tech economy. Valley Vision’s Kristine Mazzei and SACOG’s Mike McKeever offered a glimpse into the bright future they see if we stay focused and CEC advisor Panama Bartholomy was refreshingly frank. Thank you to the organizers. I know how much work goes into something like that.

October 29, 2010 | 3:28 PM

I am surprised KJ would be seen on the same stage with GreenFreak LLC, an Arizona based company.

Mayor Johnson are you boycotting Arizona or not?

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