Green Start Up Nets $100,000 From MIT

Hot on the heels of the MIT Clean Energy Prize–which this year went to CoolChip Technologies–the MIT‘s Sloan School of Management has accorded top honors to a green start-up in the course of its regular business contest, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Sanergy–the startup that walked away with the $100,000 prize on May 12th, beating out five other teams–is built around the unique idea that bringing sanitation to the developing world can help to create jobs, opportunity and energy. The company recently took its system to task in the Kenya’s densely packed urban slums, where eight million people currently lack access to adequate sanitation.

MIT Entrepreneur Competition

image via MIT Sloan School of Management

“In these areas with no sewage infrastructure, tackling the sanitation crisis requires more than just building toilets,” said Ani Vallabhaneni, the startup’s strategist, in a statement. “We are franchising a dense network of small-scale, high-quality sanitation facilities to local entrepreneurs in slums, starting in Kenya. We then collect the waste to convert it into electricity and organic fertilizer.”

Sanergy’s team is composed of MIT engineering students and MIT Sloan MBAs and was chosen by the competition’s panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and industry professionals based on the strength of its business plan, presentation and field expertise in Kenya.

As an added bonus, Sanergy also took home an additional $5,000 as the winner of the competition’s Audience Choice Award.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.