E-Capital Summit Cleantech Challenge Triples Prize at EarthX; 3 Startups Get $100K Each

The challenge's investment committee tripled the initial payout of $100,000 to reward three cleantech startups for their innovation.


Hard work for a good cause pays off. That’s the lesson three early-stage startups learned when Capital Factory’s E-Capital Summit Cleantech Challenge decided to up the ante, paying out three times its original prize to the three startups.

The startups impressed the investment committee so much that it tripled the initial award to $300,000, according to a press release from EarthX Friday. Instead of just one recipient, the committee provided Syzygy Plasmonics, Semtive, and Evolve Energy with a $100,000 investment each because of the promise each exhibited.

Texas-based Capital Factory has a location in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood.

Formerly called Earth Day Texas, EarthX was started in 2011 by Dallas environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow as a way to showcase environmental innovations and initiatives to help the public become catalysts for change.

EarthX, now aimed at making a difference 365 days a year, culminated in a four-pronged environmental experience of a film festival, conference, expo, and education. 

READ NEXT: ‘EarthX Can Be to Dallas, What SXSW is to Austin’

“What a thrill to see three companies walk away from the EarthX E-Capital Summit with this kind of investment and support,” EarthX CEO Tony Keane said in a statement. “We know that we can have all the good ideas in the world, but we need to shepherd them and convene the right parties—private capital, financiers, early- to late-stage companies, industry thought leaders, policymakers, incubators, accelerators and researchers—to ensure they have the most substantial positive impacts on profit, people and the planet. This is the promise of EarthX.”

Bryan Chambers, vice president of the accelerator and investment fund at Capital Factory, said the challenge highlights Texas’ clean tech sector.

“The EarthX E-Capital Summit has quickly become one of the most important clean tech events and conference featuring pioneers, policy makers, investors, and philanthropists,” Chambers said in a statement. “While Texas is well known for our contributions to the traditional oil and gas industry, we’re excited to partner with E-Capital on this investment challenge to help inform the public about all the great entrepreneurs and innovation occurring in Texas in the clean tech sector.”

Syzygy is developing a new photocatalytic chemical reactor powered by light instead of heat from burning fuel and holds promise to revolutionize the industrial gas, chemical, and energy industries by lowering cost and emissions for major commodity chemicals such as fuel, fertilizer, and plastic.

Semtive generates clean and renewable energy with Nemoi, a patented vertical axis wind turbine that can be installed in under an hour, operates at extremely low wind speeds, and is virtually noiseless. 

Evolve Energy uses wind and solar energy to cut up to 30 percent off monthly electricity bills, using an AI platform to automatically shift your energy usage to non-peak hours when more green energy is flowing into the grid.

Along with the $100,000 cash investment and exposure to industry influencers at EarthX, the winners will receive special access to Texas’ top entrepreneurs, be admitted to Capital Factory’s Accelerator program, gain access to Capital Factory’s mentor network, and receive six months of unlimited coworking at Capital Factory.

Matt Myers, vice president of EarthxCapital said the E-Capital Summit exceeded expectations with more than 65 companies participating. 

The ninth annual EarthX attracted more than 175,000 people interested in creating a sustainable world for all living things, and a healthier planet for future generations. 

This article was updated on Monday, May 6.

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