There's nothing like a little healthy competition and a $50,000 cash prize to accelerate the development of the U.S. renewable energy market. That's the idea behind the California Clean Tech Open (CCTO), an annual competition designed to provide California entrepreneurs, scientists, idealists, engineers and environmentalists with the chance to turn a brilliant idea into an economically viable clean technology business.

"Our nation's labs and garages contain a wealth of innovation and untapped potential for developing and sustaining a robust clean tech economy. Like a 'start up-in-a-box' for clean tech, the California Clean Tech Open imparts the capital and guidance needed to help move the most promising of those early stage ideas into market reality." -- Michael Santullo, California Clean Tech Open, co-chair