2009 revenue: $1.4 million
Estimated 2010 revenue: $2.8 million
In 2004, the Energy Cooperative, a nonprofit that promotes low-cost and renewable energy in Pennsylvania, formed BlackGold Biofuels, which spun off as a for-profit corporation in 2008. The company does consulting and develops equipment that chemically transforms sewer grease into biodiesel. It sells the systems to water utilities and wastewater pumpers that extract the grease, process it into biofuel, and sell it to distributors and vehicle fleets. In 2009, BlackGold Biofuels sold a system to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. "We've changed the economics of disposal," says Chief Executive Officer Emily Landsburg, 32. "Now there are financial incentives for proper grease handling." Over the past five years, the company has received $400,000 in cash investment, $600,000 in grant funding, and $700,000 of in-kind support through partners such as the Energy Cooperative and the U.S. Agriculture Dept. Landsburg plans to increase hiring and sign contracts in the Northeast and Southeast this year.