Skyven Technologies Named a Finalist for 2015 SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards

Skyven Technologies, pioneer of highly efficient solar cogeneration systems, was selected as a finalist for the 18th annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards under the Sustainable Tech category for innovation in power generation and storage. Previously called the SXSW Interactive Awards, the rebranded SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards celebrates the best and latest advancements of 2014 across an increasingly diverse ecosystem of platforms, software, apps and devices. Of hundreds of applications submitted, Skyven Technologies was one of 70 finalist spots given across 14 categories by a panel of judges comprised of industry peers and experts.

The list of 14 categories in this competition, which are entirely new this year, include Health Med & Biotech, Innovation in Connecting People, Innovative 3-DIY, Internet of Things, Music Discovery, New Economy, Privacy & Security, Responsive Design, SciFi No Longer, Student Innovation, Sustainable Tech, Transportation Advancements, Visual Media Experience, and Wearable Tech.

The SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Ceremony takes place the evening of Tuesday, March 17, 2015, on the sixth floor of the Hilton Austin Downtown, where the winners from each category will be revealed and honored. The ceremony is presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers and supporting sponsors Cloud.typography and IBM.

"We are honored to be chosen among so many applicants," said Arun Gupta, founder and CEO of Skyven.  "We have been working tirelessly to make solar energy affordable and ubiquitous, and it is wonderful to be recognized for our efforts."

Skyven's flagship product, the Skyven Cogen System (SCS), uses revolutionary optical technology to combine electricity generation and water heating into a single solar panel.  Designed for commercial and industrial rooftops, the SCS reduces the cost of both solar electricity and solar heating.  In most places around the globe, heat generated with the SCS costs less than half as much as heat from traditional solar water heaters.

“We are blown away by the bold creativity and innovation embodied by this year’s Innovation Award finalists,” said Mason Stewart, SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Coordinator. “Considering the quality of this finalist pool, determining the winners will be no small feat.”

For more information about the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards and to view the complete list of 2015 finalists, visit the following site:

About Skyven Technologies

Skyven’s rooftop panels are designed to lower the cost of green energy for commercial and industrial facilities. Its patented solar technology combines electricity generation and water heating into a single panel. The result is twice the energy output and financial return when compared to other leading rooftop solar technologies. The Skyven Cogen System is the first and only zero-emission solution that can compete directly on the cost of heating water with natural gas, while also surpassing the electricity generation of traditional solar panels. For more information, please visit

About SXSW Interactive

The 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Festival returns to Austin from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the 2015 event features five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in Page 5 emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to bigpicture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today. Join us in March 2015 for the sessions, the networking, the evening events, the 18th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, SXSW Accelerator, the SXSW Gaming Expo, the SXSW Trade Show, SXSW Create, the Digital Creative Job Market, cross-industry conversations with attendees from SXSW Film and SXSW Music, and, most of all, the unforgettable inspirational experiences that only SXSW can deliver. SXSW Interactive 2015 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Esurance, AT&T, IFC, Mazda, Monster Energy, McDonald’s, Philips, Capital One, Pepsi and The Austin Chronicle


'Cool' ideas receive funding through Proto Labs contest

Dallas engineer Arun Gupta had a great idea. Create an efficient solar panel for hotels and factories that could pull double duty: making electricity and heating the building's water at the same time.

He named the company Skyven Technologies and got to work perfecting computer models. The only problem? Money. Skyven needed to build a full-scale prototype to show investors and take the business to the next level.

Enter Proto Labs Inc.'s Cool Idea Award contest, which on Thursday announced it would grant Skyven and several yet-to-be selected winners up to $250,000 this year in free manufacturing services. Judges have been selected and are ready to receive submissions. Gupta applied last year and is the first winner announced this year.

This is the fifth year that Maple Plain-based Proto Labs has sponsored the contest, which is open to entrepreneurs in the United States and Europe. The idea is to reward innovators with free manufacturing help so their revolutionary but budding ideas, models or parts can quickly leap into actual production.

Proto Labs is a custom manufacturer with about $200 million in annual revenue. It uses computerized milling, injection-molding or 3-D printing technology to quickly make customer prototypes, products and parts.

As part of his $35,000 Cool Idea award, Gupta will use all three of Proto Labs' manufacturing processes to make the plastic and metal parts for his unique solar panel, which will be the size of a conference table when assembled.

"Having this award and having them build our product for us has been huge in making sure everything is working right and that we can show it to people," Gupta said. "Otherwise, the most we can get are computer simulations, which are not very convincing to most people."

Contest program manager Sarah Ekenberg said Proto Labs has donated $750,000 in manufacturing work to 21 start-ups with big ideas but few resources. It often manufactures a winning contestant's product housings, clips, parts or the critical attachments that connect hardware to software.

Armed with an actual physical product allows winners to showcase their innovation, raise funds on Kickstarter and fully commercialize their idea, Ekenberg said. In return for its help, Proto Labs wins loyalty, future customers and moves one step closer to becoming the $1 billion company it wants to be in 10 years. It also wins a permanent association with pretty far out technologies.

Past "Cool" contest winners include a self-propelled ocean-exploring robot; a personal robot for the home; the rugged and nimble Whirlwind wheelchair; and Solo Shot, which is a personal-tracking device invented by a surfer who wanted to make instructive selfie videos while he was out hitting the waves.

Last year, Proto Labs helped AMPY, which designed a wearable device that converts body movement into stored cellphone power. In 2013, the Flip Out Tantrum screwdriver won a Cool Idea award that helped it manufacture a tool for impossibly tight spaces and angles.

This year's Cool Idea contest should draw more applicants than ever. "The word is definitely getting out about the award," said Ekenberg. "We are nearly doubling every year. In 2014, we had nearly 500 applicants."

This year, Proto Labs will showcase past winners at six innovation conferences including South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas; MakerCon in San Francisco; Industrial Designers Society of America Conference in Seattle; and the Designers of Things Expo in San Francisco.

Skyven's Gupta said his reaction to the ward was one of "shock and deep gratitude."

"Now, we expect to have all the parts shipped back to us and to complete the manufacturing award by February," he said in a phone interview. Skyven solar panels will be ready for a full market launch next year.

That tickles Proto Labs founder and contest judge Larry Lukis.

"Skyven has leveraged several existing solar technologies ... to create a completely new model that builds on each technology's strengths," Lukis said. "The resulting product is one that brings higher levels of solar efficiencies to a market that is always looking to reduce its carbon footprint."

Skyven selected as Finalist for SXSW Eco's Startup Showcase

Skyven Technologies, pioneer of the world’s most efficient dual-use rooftop solar panel, was selected as a finalist in the Greentech category for SXSW Eco’s entrepreneurial pitch competition, the Startup Showcase, taking place on October 6-7, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.


The Startup Showcase, now in its third year, is a rapid-fire pitch competition spotlighting innovative early stage companies in the areas of greentech, cleanweb and social impact. Finalists in these categories were selected out of a pool of hundreds of applicants from around the world and will compete at SXSW Eco in front of a live audience and panel of Judges from companies the likes of Target, Shell Technology Ventures, the Whole Planet Foundation, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Sprint. In the past two years, participating companies have gone on to raise over $27M in funding and acquire global brands as clients.

The emcee for the Greentech category will be Mitch Jacobson, Co-director at ATI Clean Energy Incubator and CleanTX Foundation. Judges will include Farshid Arman (Siemens Technology to Business Center); Daniel Carter (Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures); Dawn Lippert (Energy Excelerator); Rebecca Taylor (Shell Technology Ventures) and Dan Watkins, PhD (Mercury Fund).

“We are incredibly excited to be pitching as finalists in this year’s SXSW Eco Startup Showcase,” said Arun Gupta, founder of Skyven Technologies. “It’s a prestigious event that will really help us spread the word about the transformative solar cogen technology that we have been developing so diligently”.

The Skyven Cogen System, or SCS, is the most efficient dual use solar panel in the world.  One SCS panel produces as much energy as two similarly-sized solar PV panels plus one solar water heating panel, meaning far fewer panels to transport and install.  The resulting cost savings are so dramatic that rooftop solar suddenly becomes an obvious choice for many building owners.

“Each year, we are honored to spotlight the companies that are offering the most innovative new solutions to our social and environmental challenges,” said Carolyn Harrold, SXSW Eco Startup Programming Producer. “This year’s finalists were selected out of our most competitive applicant pool yet, and we look forward to the excitement they will bring to the stage and the change they will drive in the coming year.”


For a complete list of SXSW Eco Startup presenters, visit the following site:


About Skyven Technologies

Skyven Technologies is drastically lowering the cost of green energy for commercial and industrial facilities. Its patented rooftop solar technology combines electricity generation and water heating into a single panel. The result? Triple the energy output and double the financial returns versus today's leading rooftop solar technologies. It's the first and only zero-emissions solutions that can compete head-to-head with natural gas on the cost of heating water, while simultaneously beating the best that traditional PV has to offer on electricity generation.


About SXSW Eco

Now in its fourth year, SXSW Eco attracts a global community to explore, engage and co-create solutions for a sustainable world. A uniquely inclusive platform for professionals, SXSW Eco examines the critical challenges of our times through a kaleidoscopic lens of design innovation, policy tipping points, technological breakthroughs, conservation practice, entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of creativity to transform inspiration into action. The conference takes place October 6-8, 2014 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. SXSW Eco is sponsored by Austin Energy, Austin Technology Incubator, Lagunitas, the Austin Chronicle and KDRP.

Skyven Technologies selected as Semi-Finalist in 2013 Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open (, the world's largest cleantech business accelerator, has named Skyven Technologies as a semi-finalist in its 2013 national cleantech business competition.  Skyven will have a chance to compete for over $10,000 in prizes in the South Central Regional Finals, and over $100,000 in the National Finals.

Skyven will also participate in the 2013 Cleantech Open Accelerator Program.  This comprehensive program is designed to give entrepreneurs a running start in business.  It includes a three day "National Academy," weekly webinars, and culminates with a three day "Global Forum" that features investors and industry partners.

About The Cleantech Open

The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the Cleantech Open provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships that turn clever ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual accelerator and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has enabled 727 cleantech startups to bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helped its alumni companies raise more than $800M in external capital, and created thousands of green-collar jobs. Fueled by a global network of more than 1,500 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s and the world’s cleantech sectors a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitterand Facebook.