College Clean-Energy Hotshots Headed To DC

In an effort to cultivate the next generation of energy innovators, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition earlier this year. The competition challenged teams of university students to create new businesses by commercializing promising energy technologies developed at U.S. universities and the National Laboratories.

The teams have been hard at work, and late last week the DOE announced the regional finalists and their potentially game changing ideas. The lucky students from Northwestern University, University of Utah, University of Central Florida, MIT, Stanford University and Columbia University will go on to compete in the first national competition in Washington, D.C., next month.

clean energy business competition

image via U.S. Department of Energy

Each team of students was required to identify a promising clean energy technology from a university or national lab and create a business plan around the technology that detailed how they could help bring it to market. This includes financing, product design, scaling up production and marketing.

The team from Northwestern University is working with a nanomaterial that can be used to store natural gas more efficiently in motor vehicles; students from the University of Utah are researching a the use quantum of dots in future generations of solar panels, televisions, and cell phones; and the team from Stanford University is working with a biological wastewater treatment process that removes and recovers energy from waste nitrogen and recovers phosphorus.

These six regional winners will pitch their business plans before a panel of expert judges. The pitching, which is open to the public, is scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, in Washington, D.C.  If you plan to be in the area, register to attend DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Pitches here.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

Be first to comment