Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

The Road to Houston: 2018 Regional Cleantech UP Competitions’ Wrap Up

June 20, 2018

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The Road to Houston: 2018 Regional Cleantech UP Competitions’ Wrap Up

Over the last few months, we’ve traveled coast-to-coast to attend the eight regional Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) competitions. At each regional competition, student teams competed for the $50,000 regional prize[1] and networked with critical industry and investor stakeholders. Aspiring student entrepreneurs often lack the business development skills, market exposure, and investor feedback they need to launch viable new businesses. Cleantech UP business plan competitions provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with the mentorship, business development skills and training, and investor feedback they need to turn their clean energy ideas into businesses offering real-world solutions.

At this year’s national competition, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy is sponsoring a prize of $35,000 to one winning team. Focused on increasing long-term warfighting capabilities and enhancing mission effectiveness, DoD is pursuing a range of initiatives and technologies that improve operational energy use.

On June 27–28, 19 teams from across the country will pitch their clean energy business plans and compete for over $100,000 in prizes at the National Cleantech UP competition at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Ten companies will be competing through the DoD track.

The results from the eight regional competitions include:

CLEAN ENERGY TRUST’S CLEANTECH UP (February 8)

  • First Place: Aerospec Technologies (Northwestern University)  
  • Runners up: Aelios Technologies (University of Minnesota) and Beltech (University of Chicago)
  • DoD competitors: Beltech and Aelios

 

RICE UNIVERSITY’S RICE BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION (April 5–7)

  • First Place: NUMiX Materials (Northwestern University)
  • Runners up: Ateios (University of California, San Diego), Polar Panel (University of Houston), SurgePower Materials (Texas State University)
  • DoD competitor: Ateios

 

CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY’S ALLEGHENY CLEANTECH UP (April 6)

  • First Place: WasteLESS Tech (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Runners up: Ecotone Renewables (Carnegie Mellon University), Boundary Laboratories (Case Western Reserve University), Coppin Solar Tech (Coppin State University)
  • DoD competitors: gridfruit (Carnegie Mellon University), WasteLESS Tech, and ExperiML (Carnegie Mellon)

 

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY’S MIT CLEAN ENERGY PRIZE (April 13)

  • First Place: Lithio Storage (Tufts University)
  • Runners up: Fiat Flux (MIT)
  • DoD competitor: Lithio Storage

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY BERKELEY CLEANTECH UP (APRIL 13)

  • First Place: Feros Freight Innovations (University of Oregon)[2]
  • Runners up: Active Energy Systems (Cornell University) and DTE Materials Inc. (California Polytechnic State University)

 

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY LAUNCHR (April 27)

  • First Place: SHIO (University of Delaware)
  • Runners up: Hearth Labs (Princeton University) and CarbonSul (Columbia University)
  • DoD competitors: SHIO and Hearth Labs

 

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA’S MEGAWATT VENTURES (May 17)

  • First Place: VerdiLife (University of Iowa)
  • Runners up: HYPower Solutions (North Carolina State University)

 

CALTECH FIRST LOOK WEST (FLOW) (May 24)

  • First Place: ETC Solar (Caltech)
  • DoD competitor: ETC Solar

 

To learn more about the winning teams and their technologies, visit the Cleantech UP website, and follow us on Facebook this week, #NationalCleantechUPWeek, to get a sneak peek of some of the competing teams’ technologies.

Cleantech UP is part of the Tech-to-Market Program within the Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

[1] Note that GE contributed an additional $50,000 for the MIT Energy Prize winner

[2] Feros Freight will be unable to compete at the National Cleantech UP competition