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Upstate venture capital group talks clean tech at RIT panel

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A firm that brews up ethanol will be included among the clean-tech impresarios speaking tonight.

A group that tries to get venture capitalists to invest in upstate companies is hosting a panel discussion on clean technology in Rochester tonight.

Some up-and-coming local firms will be on the Upstate Venture Association of New York panel, talking about the challenges they face in getting their clean tech goods and services to market.

Here are the players. If you have any questions you'd like to ask of them, just let me know.

Moderating the panel is Michael Shimazu, the guy who heads up NYSERDA's clean energy incubator program. Among other things, the state's energy research arm funds clean tech incubators around the state. Many of the panel participants have ties to NYSERDA-funded incubators.

The panelists include:

Steve Lyons of AWR Energy. AWR makes small-scale wind turbines.

Jerry Horton of Sweetwater Energy. The Rochester-based biofuels company works on making ethanol more efficiently.

Jeff Burke of Emerald Technologies. The local startup (it's affiliated with RIT's own Clean Energy Incubator) works on developing more efficient systems for cooling energy-gobbling data centers. 

David Hessler of Microgen Systems. The Ithaca-based firm works on improving battery technology for a wide range of applications.

Keith Blakely of R3 Fusion. R3 does environmentally-friendly fluid processing in everything from water to biofuels.