Wells Fargo Signs On As National Sponsor of The Cleantech Open

 First national sponsorship by major financial services company accelerates cleantech development nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO — April 14, 2011 — Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced it will be a national sponsor of the 2011 Cleantech Open – the world’s largest business plan competition that encourages the development of clean technology companies and innovation. Marking the first time a financial services company has joined as a national sponsor, Wells Fargo’s investment will cover all seven regions in the Cleantech Open.

“We are excited to support entrepreneurs in the clean technology sector by teaming up with the Cleantech Open. Wells Fargo is committed to supporting environmental initiatives that help our communities become more environmentally sustainable,” said Mary Wenzel, director of Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs. “Our participation also provides opportunities for Wells Fargo team members to volunteer and provide financial expertise and mentorship to these entrepreneurs.”
Wells Fargo introduced its National Cleantech group – a division of the company’s commercial banking group dedicated to supporting clean technology companies – in 2009. The group provides customized commercial banking products and services to businesses that manufacture, market or develop clean technologies such as solar and wind power, energy and water efficiency, electric and low-emission vehicles, and smart grid applications. In 2010, the company committed more than $300 million in loans to clean technology businesses.
“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting customers and projects that promote a clean-energy economy,” said Puon Penn, head of Wells Fargo’s National Cleantech Group. “On behalf of Wells Fargo, we’re excited to be a national sponsor of the Cleantech Open and join in its efforts to encourage the development of clean technology.”
The Cleantech Open helps connect entrepreneurs with the expertise, talent, and funding needed to create successful, sustainable businesses. Since its inception in 2006, nearly 400 promising teams have availed themselves of the Cleantech Open’s one-of-a-kind hands-on workforce development, nurturing, and funding programs, with impressive results. Cleantech Open Alumni have raised over $280 million in private capital; 80 percent of the Cleantech Open participants remain economically viable today, and more than 2,000 new clean technology jobs have been created.
“As we expand across the country, Wells Fargo is an ideal partner for the Cleantech Open,” said Rex Northen, executive director for the Cleantech Open. “The solutions to the most critical challenges facing the U.S. today, related to energy, environment and the economy will come from the creativity, dedication, and passion of entrepreneurs and inventors. Wells Fargo understands that, and has deployed more than $8 billion in loans and investments to customers and projects that have a direct positive impact on the environment.”
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 280,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
About The Cleantech Open
The Cleantech Open is the world’s largest cleantech business competition. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The program provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships to turn ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has helped hundreds of clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helping alumni contestants raise over $200m and creating an estimated 1,200 green collar jobs. Fueled by a network of more than 750 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America’s cleantech sector a thriving economic engine. For more information, visit www.cleantechopen.com, and follow @cleantechopen on Twitter.