Princeton NuEnergy one of top winners at CleanTech Open Northeast

Accelerator program aims to assist environmental startups with women and minorities

Princeton NuEnergy in Bordentown was one of four startup companies to take home the top prize in the 17th Annual Cleantech Open Northeast accelerator awards — an annual competition that honors companies breaking new ground in greenhouse gas reduction.

Princeton NuEnergy, which has developed a novel lithium-ion battery recycling process to directly recover and regenerate used battery materials, will receive $10,000 in cash plus additional in-kind services.

Launched in 2005, Cleantech Open Northeast has served as an accelerator for 523 clean technology startups from the northeast United States and eastern Canada and is part of the world’s largest environmental technology accelerator, Cleantech Open. This year, for the first time ever, global applicants were able to participate virtually, provided they had strong ties to the northeast North American region.

The other three winners showed the global nature of the competition:

  • Innovia GEO, from Oakville, Ontario, which specializes in accessible geothermal energy;
  • Osmoses, from Somerville, Massachusetts, which performs sustainable, industrial-grade molecular filtration and carbon capture;
  • STAC Technology, from Hellerup, Denmark, which performs large-scale heating and cooling using advanced water-vapor driven turbo-compressors.

Princeton NuEnergy describes itself as delivering innovative and sustainable energy and environmental solutions. Its current focus is on second-life battery solutions and closed-loop lithium-ion battery recycling, according to its website.

It lists the following as its missions:

  • Create new solutions in renewable energy, alternative fuels and environmental protection by generating novel processes and materials;
  • Lead the industry in lithium-ion battery recycling and diagnostics;
  • Boost the U.S. economy by creating new manufacturing jobs;
  • Educate and train the new generation in STEM.

All four startups will represent the Northeast at the virtual 2021 Cleantech Open Global Forum on Oct. 20-22. There, they will compete with emerging environmental and energy technology firms throughout the nation for the national grand prize.

About Cleantech Open

Cleantech Open Northeast is the Northeast region of Cleantech Open and is managed by NECEC as the on-the-ground affiliate. Cleantech Open is the world’s oldest and largest cleantech accelerator and is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch a successful cleantech company. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.

A major focus in the 2021 awards was put on diversity, equity and inclusion, with 31 of the 50 initial participants featuring women and minorities in leadership. In addition, the participants received training from Browning the Green Space on how to improve their diversity and how to reach effectively into underserved communities.

Participants in this accelerator program also received specific training in how to quantify the environmental impact of their solutions for potential clients and investors.

“We seek to give them the tools that help take them from great ideas to thriving companies,” Cleantech Open Northeast Senior Director Beth Zonis said.

Graduates of the program generate more than $279 million in annual revenue and have raised over $653 million in capital. They employ over 3,300 people and 68% of them are still active.