Transformative Technologies 2011: what went right, wrong, in the Round of 32?

August 27, 2011 |

Round two voting finished on Friday in the Transformative Technologies 2011 tournament, and 11 of the 16 organizations and technologies that advanced were favorites – but five favorites fell. #1 East seed Coskata, #2 East seed KiOR, #3 West seed Sapphire Energy, #3 Central seed ZeaChem, and #4 International seed LanzaTech, all bowed out earlier than expected

At the same time, #5 International seed Novozymes, #6 Central seed Terrabon, #7 East seed Joule Unlimited, #8 East seed INEOS Bio, and #11 West seed OriginOil all advanced unexpectedly.

What went right and wrong?

1. Complacency. Sapphire Energy and KiOR didn’t get their profiles filed in time for the tournament, leaving all voters to guess at the strength of their appeal (or go hunting in the Digest archives).

2. Nearer to commercialization. Generally, the companies that were on the faster commercialization tracks, won.

3. Ground game. A good “get out the vote” effort helps – companies like Solazyme, Terrabon and OriginOil went to lengths to remind their supporters among Digest subscribers to fill out their ballots.

4. IPO visibility helps, but does not guarantee. Codexis, Gevo, Amyris and Solazyme all advanced, helped no doubt by investor relations efforts, and the visibility that a successful IPO brings, But it was no guarantee – for Joule Unlimited sent KiOR packing.

5. The Little Guy factor. The voters chose against a number of big companies – Waste Management. Honeywell’s UOP, Abengoa, Dupont, and DSM all fell to smaller companies in what may have been a backlash against big.

Voting is open to all Biofuels Digest subscribers. Voting links are in the Biofuels Digest daily newsletter. To subscribe (free), visit here.

Transformative Technologies is a subscriber-voted, “knock-out” tournament which measures the impact of the competitor’s technologies on the bioenergy landscape. More than 400 pages of data on all the competitors (and more) is available here – also, individual match-ups include links to the most recent profiles submitted by companies for the 2011-12 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy, which is coming up for voting in the 4th quarter of 2011.

The complete tournament bracket, with the most up to date scoring, is available for download here.

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