At the Clean Energy Venture Summit 2011 in Austin, Cyclewood Solutions competed with four other CleanTech Open semifinalists from the South Central region.
And it took home the $10,000 prize.
Kevin Oden, Chief Operating Officer of Cyclewood Solutions and Nhiem Cao, president and CEO of Cyclewood, pitched their company to a panel of judges. At the end of the day, the judges decided Cyclewood was one of the best companies  to go on to compete in the Cleantech nationals in San Jose, Calif. in November for $250,000.
Cyclewood, based in Fayetteville, Ark., makes biodegradable plastic bags called XyloBag from lignin, an organic material that biodegrades in 150 days.
The plastic bag market is worth $8.6 billion.
Cyclewood can make its Xylobags for as little as one and half cents, Oden said. That compares to 1.2 cents for a traditional bag, he said.
By 2015, the company predicts sales of 2.2 billion bags from just 12 customers. It also expects to have revenue of $127 million by 2015 and to be profitable.
Cyclewood is seeking a first round of funding of $600,000, followed by a $1.5 million second round.
The other Cleantech Open semifinalists for the South Central region included GeoSolar Zero Energy Buildings, based in Louisville, Kentucky, which makes fully integrated temperature controls for buildings to conserve energy. NanoTermo, an Austin-based startup, has developed a heat dissipation technology for Light Emitting Diodes, known as LEDs, using a composite nanotechnology material that can be fitted into existing and new light fixtures.

Smart Office Energy Solutions, based in Houston, makes a hardware and software system to control building energy use. It was also selected as the only Texas company to go to compete in the national competition.  And Silicon Solar Solutions also got recognized as a runner-up and was selected to go to compete in the national competition. The Arkansas-based startup has created thin solar sheets made form large grain polysilicon technology that makes solar manufacturing less expensive.

More information on the problem plastic bags pose to the environment and Cyclewood’s solution.