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Earth2Tech ~ Our 10 Green:Net Startups Using Infotech to Fight Climate Change

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by Katie Fehrenbacher

We’ve been poring over business plans and PowerPoint presentations for the past few weeks, searching for innovative young companies that are leveraging Internet and computing technologies to fight climate change. Given the overwhelming response, our mission has been to whittle down the many good candidates to the 10 early-stage startups who will present their ideas at our Green:Net conference in San Francisco in March. Drum roll, please! We’ve made our selections and, quite frankly, they rock.

You’ve probably never heard of our 10 selected startups, because most haven’t launched or raised funding yet. But take it from us, you’re probably going to hear a lot more about them — they’re innovators who are developing software, wireless networks, consumer electronics, and web tools to reduce energy consumption or boost clean power:

1). Visible Energy: There are a couple companies called Visible Energy out there, most of them focused on representing energy consumption data. But our selection has a big picture of a UFO-looking gadget on its site, has an iPhone app, and is still in stealth mode. We won’t say much more than that, but their demo at the launchpad will identify the mysterious energy object. We got a sneak peak, and we think you’ll be impressed.

2). Packet Power: The company uses “smart power cables” that monitor power consumption and temperature to help IT organizations see the energy consumption of their hardware on a small scale. PacketPower is producing its cable-based tech now and will be at commercial scale in the summer.

3). FarmsReach: FarmsReach is a web-based tool that helps local food sellers and farmers streamline their logistics and sales. With easier online management, more organizations and institutions can buy locally-grown food and more local farmers can find a marketplace online. That all results in lowered energy consumption for the creation and transportation of food.

4). dot UI: dot UI is a stealthy startup working on open-source middleware called OpenURC that can bring networked HVAC controls, light switches, consumer electronics and web services together in a single user interface. The tool can help utilities deliver demand response tools and enable residents to control their appliances.

5). GreenWizard: The company’s web-based software creates a marketplace for the analysis and purchase of green building materials. Architects, engineers and contractors can use it to source green building products and suppliers.

6). Adaptive Meter: Adaptive Meter is a group of developers that are using gaming and entertainment to take energy data and make it more effective in changing consumption behavior. Their product, Lost Joules, is a competitive stock-market style game that enables users to place bets on energy consumption data using virtual currency. The company hopes to build its game using Google’s PowerMeter API once it becomes available. Continue Reading →