Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Clean Energy Challenge to Award $500,000 to Startups and Students

Business
Clean Energy Challenge to Award $500,000 to Startups and Students

The Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust is ready to award $500,000 to startups who only have one week left to submit applications within the next week.

Finalists selected for the 2014 Clean Energy Challenge will receive mentoring and training from the Trust to prepare for the competition on April 3 Chicago. The panel of investors, researchers and green business leaders will evaluate business plans for new green energy technologies from startup owners, students and researchers from the Midwest who will vie for nine monetary prizes.

Student and startup competitors should apply online by Jan. 8 in one of two categories—early state or student. Finalists will be announced on Jan. 23.

The SiNode Systems team from Northwestern University was a finalist in the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge

“Applying for the Clean Energy Challenge should be a top priority for any clean energy startup that’s looking to move to the next level,” said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust CEO. “Leading venture capitalists, corporations and government agencies increasingly rely on the Challenge to provide a window on the next big ideas in cleantech.”

The Challenge has only been around since 2010, but has already produced consecutive winners of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Competition. Previous finalists have also secured $40 million in outside investments, created more than 200 jobs in the Midwest and registered more than 25 patents.

Competitors have been awarded a total of $750,000 since the contest's inception. Here are the prizes to be awarded: 

  • $100,000: Wells Fargo Grand Prize for Clean Energy Entrepreneurship

  • $100,000: U.S. Department of Energy Prize for Student Entrepreneurship

  • $100,000: Clean Energy Trust Prize for Early-Stage Entrepreneurship

  • $60,000: Six State Champion Prizes for Student Entrepreneurship

  • $50,000: United, Boeing and Honeywell UOP Aviation Energy Prize

  • $25,000: McCaffery Interests Prize for Building Efficiency

  • $20,000: ComEd Prize for Female Entrepreneurship

  • $10,000: Ameren Prize for Missouri Early-Stage Entrepreneurship

  • $10,000: Invenergy Prize for Wind Industry Innovation

"The Clean Energy Challenge is more than just a business plan competition," Anurag Garg, the 2013 Challenge winner, said. "It’s not about who wins or loses. It’s a process.

"We went from being engineering grad students with little business sense to being entrepreneurs."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

A grim new assessment of the world's flora and fungi has found that two-fifths of its species are at risk of extinction as humans encroach on the natural world, as The Guardian reported. That puts the number of species at risk near 140,000.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Flowers like bladderwort have changed their UV pigment levels in response to the climate crisis. Jean and Fred / CC BY 2.0

As human activity transforms the atmosphere, flowers are changing their colors.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A factory in Newark, N.J. emits smoke in the shadow of NYC on January 18, 2018. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis / Getty Images

By Sharon Zhang

Back in March, when the pandemic had just planted its roots in the U.S., President Donald Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do something devastating: The agency was to indefinitely and cruelly suspend environmental rule enforcement. The EPA complied, and for just under half a year, it provided over 3,000 waivers that granted facilities clemency from state-level environmental rule compliance.

Read More Show Less
A meteoroid skims the earth's atmosphere on Sept. 22, 2020. European Space Agency

A rare celestial event was caught on camera last week when a meteoroid "bounced" off Earth's atmosphere and veered back into space.

Read More Show Less
A captive elephant is seen at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Littlebourne, England. Suvodeb Banerjee / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Bob Jacobs

Hanako, a female Asian elephant, lived in a tiny concrete enclosure at Japan's Inokashira Park Zoo for more than 60 years, often in chains, with no stimulation. In the wild, elephants live in herds, with close family ties. Hanako was solitary for the last decade of her life.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch