Wells Fargo Sponsors Cleantech Open
Wells Fargo announced today that it will sponsor the Cleantech Open – a business plan competition that encourages the development of clean technology companies and innovation. Marking the first time a financial services company has joined as a national sponsor, Wells Fargo’s investment will cover all seven regions in the Cleantech Open, which is globally sponsored by Chevron.
“We are excited to support entrepreneurs in the clean technology sector by teaming up with the Cleantech Open. Wells Fargo is committed to supporting environmental initiatives that help our communities become more environmentally sustainable,” said Mary Wenzel, director of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs. “Our participation also provides opportunities for Wells Fargo team members to volunteer and provide financial expertise and mentorship to these entrepreneurs.”
Wells Fargo introduced its National Cleantech group – a division of the company’s commercial banking group dedicated to supporting clean technology companies - in 2009. The group provides customized commercial banking products and services to businesses that manufacture, market or develop clean technologies such as solar and wind power, energy and water efficiency, electric and low-emission vehicles, and smart grid applications. In 2010, the company committed more than $300 million in loans to clean technology businesses.
“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting customers and projects that promote a clean-energy economy,” said Puon Penn, head of Wells Fargo’s National Cleantech Group. “On behalf of Wells Fargo, we’re excited to be a national sponsor of the Cleantech Open and join in its efforts to encourage the development of clean technology.”
The Cleantech Open helps connect entrepreneurs with the expertise, talent, and funding needed to create successful, sustainable businesses. Since its inception in 2006, nearly 400 teams have participated in the competition and Cleantech Open Alumni have raised over $280 million in private capital.
“As we expand across the country, Wells Fargo is an ideal partner for the Cleantech Open,” said Rex Northen, executive director for the Cleantech Open. “The solutions to the most critical challenges facing the U.S. today, related to energy, environment and the economy will come from the creativity, dedication, and passion of entrepreneurs and inventors. Wells Fargo understands that, and has deployed more than $8 billion in loans and investments to customers and projects that have a direct positive impact on the environment.”