Meet the Cleantech Finalists!

Oct 28, 2015


Cleantech is an important, rapidly growing sector of the San Diego innovation economy, so of course we’re spotlighting some of Cleantech’s best and brightest in the Most Innovative New Product awards. “Cleantech” is loosely defined as a product or service that improves performance, productivity, or efficiency while providing sustainability benefits. This industry sector casts a wide net and encompasses areas like clean energy (solar, wind), water purification, and biofuels.

Spurred by a city initiative in 2007 to promote the expansion, attraction, and retention of businesses that develop products and technologies that provide environmentally sustainable solutions, it is now estimated that the industry contributes $2.25 billion in direct, indirect, and induced economic impact to the local economy in San Diego.

Without further ado, let’s meet our finalists in the Cleantech category!

Flux Power, Inc. – LiFT Pack

The Flux LiFT Pack™ from Flux Power is a sustainable and ecologically friendly lithium-ion battery pack for the material handling industry. Leveraging its proprietary technology “Battery Management System,” it is longer lasting, more powerful, and provides a lower cost of ownership.

FluxPower CEO, Ron Dutt, has led the financial performance of small, medium, and large public and private companies. His previous positions include CFO and EVP of SOLA International, Directed Electronics, and Fritz Companies. He was also CFO at DHL Americas and Aptera and COO of Famgro LLC. Ron took some time to share a few insights into having a business in San Diego and the innovation economy.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Ron Dutt: As a CFO, challenging CEOs and Boards on strategic issues.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Dutt: The climate – It is wonderful to enjoy amazing weather and business climate in a pro-business city, and it’s a great place for recruiting.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go-to app right now?

Dutt: Hands down, Uber.

CONNECT: In your opinion, what’s been the best innovation in the last 25 years?

Dutt: The smartphone; it’s transforming the world.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Dutt: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Dutt: Being a finalist in the MIP awards is a humbling experience. The judges are all accomplished industry experts and to receive their endorsement is a great honor. To get as far as we have, in a very impressive set of entrants in San Diego, is certainly gratifying for a small start-up like Flux Power.

Q Factory 33, LLC – B3 Bypass

The B3 Bypass is a game-changing revenue tool not just for residential and commercial solar, but residential and commercial wind, fuel cells, generators, batteries and storage, electrical safety, clean transportation, motor vehicle safety, machinery, industrial manufacturing and more. Extensive calculations based on NEC Guidelines deliver improved backfeed power production potential of a minimum 600% per installation.The B3 Bypass helps companies dramatically cut costs in planning, cash flow analysis, elimination of permitting processes, site visits and the labor, liability and equipment costs associated with installation of breaker box upgrades.

We were able to catch up with Q Factory 33 President and CEO, Randy Hughes, about challenges and achievement while innovating in San Diego.  

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Randy Hughes: I’d have to say hyper acceleration to market: propelling industry-changing ideas from concept to commercialization in advanced technology with very limited resources.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Hughes: Incredibly complex certification, code, and compliance processes.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Hughes: Balance, balance, balance … San Diego is truly the greatest place on earth to balance professional opportunity with a rich, active personal/family life.  It’s inspiring!

CONNECT: What’s your favorite business blog or book?

Hughes: The Innovators Dilemma by Clayton Christensen.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Hughes: It’s a privilege to be a contributing member of San Diego’s thriving entrepreneurial community, and to connect via CONNECT to the uniquely eclectic business network representing the greater San Diego region.

YulexPatagonia Men’s R2® Yulex®/Nexkin® Front-Zip Full Wetsuit

Yulex brings non-sensitizing, high performing, 100% plant based, specialty natural rubber materials to consumers and brands. Their mission is to protect and improve the health of people and the planet by replacing petroleum-based and toxic materials with safe, plant-based specialty natural rubber and energy. Today, people are bombarded with toxins, estrogen and endocrine mimickers and multiple allergens primarily from fire retardants, synthetic materials and latex allergies. Yulex works on eliminating the toxic load on all of us and on preventing latex allergies. Their products can be used for fabric coatings and multiple foams that can naturally suppress flames, eliminating the need for toxic fire retardants.

Patagonia and Yulex Corporation collaborated to commercialize the first, plant-based, natural rubber wetsuit to replace traditional neoprene.  The Patagonia Men’s R2® Yulex®/Nexkin® Front-Zip Full Wetsuit has improved elasticity, softness, longevity, and is more sustainable than the polychloroprene that it replaces.

As you can see, San Diego is at the forefront of the Cleantech revolution. Who will win on December 1st and be named the Most Innovative New Product in Cleantech this year? Join us and find out! For more information on the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards visit the event page!