Skip to main content

ASU spin out wins Cleantech Open Regional competition

October 10, 2011

Arbsource, a spin out company from Arizona State University, is the winner of the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open regional final for the Air, Water and Waste category. Arbsource uses biotechnology to transform wastewater treatment from a costly energy liability into a valuable resource for food and beverage companies.

Mission of the Cleantech Open is to find, fund and foster the big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The Cleantech Open has established itself as the leader in developing clean technology startup entrepreneurs addressing these challenges. Since its inception in 2006, nearly 400 promising teams have availed themselves of the Cleantech Open’s one-of-a-kind, hands-on work force development, nurturing and funding programs.

“Selection as regional winners of the Cleantech Open is most valuable for the validation of our team and business model by some very experienced judges in the VC arena, among others,” said Mark Sholin, founder and CEO of Arbsource. “The motivational boost this win provides will continue to accelerate the speed at which we introduce our ARBCell biotechnology to market. Most of all, it’s reassuring that our young management team in such an early stage of progress can successfully compete with companies led by experienced entrepreneurs who have already been in development for years.”

Each Regional Final team has won a “Startup in a Box” prize package that includes combined cash and in-kind services worth up to $20,000. Finalists from all six regions (California, North-Central, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain and South-Central) will convene for a final showdown in November at the Cleantech Open 2011 Global Forum in San Jose, Calif.

Sholin is a former doctoral student and graduate research associate at Arizona State University, where he served an integral role in designing the ARBCell. He also is listed as a co-inventor.

The ARBCell biological reactor system can cut the cost of wastewater treatment for many food and beverage manufacturing companies by 50 percent or more through reduced energy consumption and maintenance. Unlike competitors, hydrogen gas is generated as a byproduct, which serves as a valuable and versatile commodity compared to methane.

Arbsource offers customers a payback period of four years or less and provides up to a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions related to wastewater treatment. Doing business with Arbsource will help customers to reduce their electricity bills and add value to their waste resources.

“Arbsource is yet another example of transformational technology being created at ASU,” said Charlie Lewis, vice-president of venture development for Arizona Technology Enterprises. “By winning the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open Regional, Arbsource has demonstrated that it not only has developed a great product, but also has the entrepreneurial talent to bring the product to market.”

The startup company is currently in the ASU Edson student entrepreneur accelerator, based at the SkySong Innovation Center in Scottsdale.

Charlie Lewis,
(480) 884-1993