Three Triangle cleantech companies have been chosen for this year’s Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, an accelerator geared toward environmental startups that provides them seed funding, office space and other assistance as they grow their business.

HomeWellness and Plantix, both based in Raleigh, and Research Triangle Park-based bioMASON, will be the participant’s in this year’s challenge.

HomeWellness helps corporations offset carbon emissions by providing their employees a web-based platform that enables users to assess their home’s energy efficiency. Users can then decide upon energy-efficient upgrades, select and manage contractors and take advantage of financing, tax credits and other incentives.

Platinix incubated at of N.C. State University. The company has developed an alternative to platinum as a catalyst for hydrogen production. These catalysts can be produced at a fraction of the cost of platinum and could enable hydrogen to become a cost-effective fuel source.

BioMASON uses microorganisms to grow bio-cement based construction materials. The company’s proprietary manufacturing processes uses less energy. The company says its products have strength and durability comparable to traditional masonry products.

Besides providing each company with $20,000 in seed funding along with office space, the Challenge will help advise and guide the companies so that by the end of summer, they have working prototypes, environmental and intellectual property strategies, and a network of mentors and potential investors.

“The Challenge and its network of experienced advisors and mentors share lessons learned with these visionary founders in order to make the process of launching a company easier and more effective,” Challenge Director JT Vaughn said in a statement.

The Challenge is now in its third year. The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee, a Raleigh investment company with an environmental focus. Cherokee has raised more than $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation. The firm has also separately founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 80 startups and venture funds in the past 28 years.