Welcome to our inaugural list of the Top 10 Startups in Greentech. Here, we'll be highlighting and ranking our picks for the best private greentech companies. We've scoured the market looking for startups that share the enviable traits of a strong founding team, impressive financing from folks who know this industry and a technology or business approach with the potential to upset the status quo and make a lasting market impact within three years. It's best if they have customers, and better - but not essential - if they're cash-flow positive.

Now I'd like to explain our wholly unscientific methodology. We have a smart team of analysts and journalists here and we asked them all to identify the most promising startups they knew. Then we asked some outsiders we trusted for a reality check. Next, a series of emails went around our offices until a dozen companies rose to the top either out of unanimous acclaim or, more likely, the attrition of those companies with only one champion. The final selection occurred, naturally, by executive fiat.

The list started with more than 100 good nominations, and it became apparent that winnowing it down to 10 would leave many good companies out. But that's the nature of top 10s, isn't it? We tried to take a rather expansive view of this market, including renewable energy,storage advanced transport, green building and green IT. The truth is, each of these categories has enough good companies to justify its own top 10. But not only did we have to skip worthy companies; we had to jettison some categories all together.

Finally, we decided on an approach more like Pitchfork Media's and less like the Oscars - no tops in any one category; just tops, period.

Take a look at our list and be sure to tell us what you think. We're going to have to update it regularly to stay relevant and we could use some help. The message boards are open and we encourage your comments, believing as we do in the wisdom of crowds.

 

  1. A123Systems
  2. Tesla Motors
  3. Mascoma
  4. Solaicx
  5. Serious Materials
  6. Bloom Energy
  7. Fat Spaniel
  8. Southwest Windpower
  9. Plextronics
  10. Atlantium