My hearty congratulations goes to our portfolio company ecoATM, who won The Crunchies Award for Best Clean Tech Startup in 2011 last night. The San Diego-based startup, which makes an intelligent self-serve kiosk to evaluate and purchase used electronics from consumers, bested a field of five finalists that also included Array Power, Alta Energy, EcoMotors and Hara.
The Crunchies, of course, is a big deal. Hosted by GigaOm, Venturebeat and TechCrunch, the 2011 Crunchies was the fifth annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the year's most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations. The Internet community is invited to choose the winners, and a whopping total of 300,000-plus nominations were submitted in 20 categories.
ecoATM's goal is to permanently alter the wasteful life-cycle of consumer electronics by addressing the challenge through convenience and immediate consumer incentives, connecting consumers in real time with a worldwide secondary market. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, U.S. consumers collectively buy about 500 million new electronic gadgets every year.
As upgrade cycles continue to grow shorter, many of these devices wind up in landfills as toxic eWaste, the fastest-growing segment of our national waste system. ecoATM is helping to solve this problem by providing sales convenience and immediate financial incentive to consumers. Over the past year, ecoATM trial locations have already collected tens of thousands of devices and paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for recycling.
Kudos, again, to ecoATM. Check out the rundown on all the winners: http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/31/crunchies-dropbox/