Partnership brings the nation's largest private university together with entrepreneurs in sustainable cleantech growth market to increase investment, mentoring and business training

PHOENIX, Nov. 8, 2012—For the third year, University of Phoenix® and The Cleantech Open are collaborating to promote the formation and development of cleantech startups. University of Phoenix is the official education partner of the Cleantech Open, which provides the opportunity for emerging clean-technology business entrepreneurs to compete on a global scale.

The Cleantech Open is the biggest and most effective accelerator and business competition of its kind for clean and green entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Each year, cleantech entrepreneurs from around the USA submit their business concept to participate in the Cleantech Open Accelerator & Competition for the chance to receive funding for their idea. As part of the accelerator, semifinalists and finalists of the Cleantech Open have access to a full series of training and curriculum, mentoring from business leaders, and other resources to help foster cleantech innovation  

University of Phoenix's relationship with The Cleantech Open is part of a robust corporate social responsibility commitment. The University is involved with the Cleantech Open in several ways: University of Phoenix faculty have worked with the Cleantech Open to develop the clean-energy curriculum available to semifinalists, finalists and alumni companies of the Cleantech Open; faculty members have participated as judges in earlier phases of the competition; and Dr. Lola Jackson, a School of Humanities and School of Business faculty member, will be a judge at the Cleantech Open Global Forum, held this week in San Jose, California.

"Our partnership with The Cleantech Open offers an opportunity not only for our students to compete with other entrepreneurs worldwide, but also for our faculty to become involved in academic projects outside of the classroom," said Dr. Bill Berry, Dean of the John Sperling School of Business at University of Phoenix. "Our students are taught applicable, real-world skills in order to meet the needs of the 21st Century workforce. Clean energy is an important industry for the future of our economy and our students want to be a part of it."

The Cleantech Open will be running "The Academy Awards of Cleantech" at its 2012 Global Forum on Nov. 8-9 in San Jose, Calif. University of Phoenix's alumnus, Dr. John Warner, will be a speaker at this event in a session titled "Introducing New Technologies into Mature Markets." Dr. Warner received his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and was one of the lead design engineers for the battery used in the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. "I remember what it was like to be working around the clock at a startup while juggling a family and also going to school," Warner said. "I feel I can share my experiences and help encourage those in the early stages of their business development to not give up."

University of Phoenix's School of Business will also be hosting a speaker series event on Nov. 12, 2012, from 7-8 p.m. MST, which will feature Dean Berry and Rex Northen, executive director of The Cleantech Open. The conversation will focus on "How to Take Your Business Idea to Market." This is a free dial-in session and participants can register online. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session.

"A commitment to our community through sustainability is woven into the fabric of our company," said Pat Gottfried, vice president of corporate social responsibility for University of Phoenix. "As the national education partner we are able to connect higher education to sustainability principles and provide our students access to industry leaders."

"Partnering with University of Phoenix is a way to show our emerging business leaders that a real-world education is an essential tool for success," said Northen. "Having an education partner opens the doors for our entrepreneurs to broaden and sharpen their skills."

You can learn more University of Phoenix's commitment to social responsibility and green initiatives at

About The Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open runs the world's largest cleantech accelerator. We provide entrepreneurs and technologists the resources needed to launch successful cleantech companies. Our mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The 581 alumni companies of the Cleantech Open's accelerator programs have raised more than $660 million in external capital. Learn more at and follow us on and @cleantechopen.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

  • Alyssa Aalmo, University of Phoenix
    360-790-8125 —
  • Tim Cox, Cleantech Open
    650-369-7784 —