Who’s Competing in the Cleantech Challenge Mexico 2012?

Mexico’s most important cleantech competition officially launched nearly a month ago, and after over 30 hours of business training in seminars and workshops, the 128 green entrepreneurs presented their business models during the first elimination round.

During the Cleantech Challenge’s first elimination round we saw a great turnout of green entrepreneurs and cleantech developers, some needing more work than others. Out of the 128 companies that initially entered the competition, only 64 will carryon to the next round.

Here are some of the projects we came across:


A group of four young entrepreneurs, Biokuxaan’s business consists of solar panel-powered stations in public spaces like parks and sidewalks where users can charge their electronics. Their business model includes advertising from companies and government, as well as creating an entertainment space where clients can offer their products and services: for instance, Coca Cola could place a soda dispenser, or Telcel can provide internet access.

During their project evaluation, the judges noted two limitations: vulnerability to vandalism and not enough access to sunlight. The solution we proposed was to place the solar panels on posts taller than the trees or buildings depending on the location, which could possibly solve both issues.

Tabiques y Estructuras:

Already patented in over five countries, Tabiques y Estructuras produces bricks made from recycled plastic bottles. The company’s objective is to mass produce these bricks and sell them to local distributors in order to increase their accessibility to more clients. They’d also like to propose these new bricks to Mexico’s affordable housing institution, INFONAVIT.

One limitation to a plastic brick is measuring its durability. It is important to define its lifespan, taking into account differing weather conditions and the location’s propensity to natural disasters. In order to quantify these aspects it requires several years of experiments and analysis.


This cleantech entrepreneur filters waste liquid from alcohol production factories. For every litre of alcohol produced, 15 litres of liquid waste is generally tossed in nearby fields or rivers. Ecobiosis proposes establishing processing plants within the alcohol production factories where the waste liquid can be filtered into portable water.

Like many cleantech developers waiting to receive their patents, they avoided divulging too much information about their invention, sometimes a hurdle for judges to make a holistic analysis.

All three companies passed the first elimination round and will continue in the race to win US$25,000 in cash and up to US$30 million in VC investment.

About the Author

Veronica French is an American-Bolivian professional living in Mexico City. She is a freelance writer and web consultant, as well as a marketing and business analyst for GreenMomentum, Inc., a cleantech consulting firm and startup accelerator based in Mexico City and Silicon Valley. She enjoys researching and writing about Mexico’s growing sustainability movement and innovation in clean technology. Topics that also pique her interest are science, technology, religion, human rights and culture. @veronicafrenchy