BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the fourth straight year, NSTAR is teaming with the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) to sponsor the MIT Clean Energy Prize, a national student business plan competition that helps turn clean energy ideas into successful businesses.
Open to university teams from across the country, the annual competition offers mentoring, coaching and cash prizes for commercializing the best clean energy innovations. Now in its fourth year, the competition has helped launch over twenty-eight companies that have secured over $85 million in investment capital and research grants.
“By bringing together the nation’s brightest minds, this competition helps spur clean energy innovation to protect the environment, strengthen energy security and create new jobs,” said Tom May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. “The competition’s contribution to Massachusetts’ clean energy economy is an added benefit indicative of the state’s many educational institutions, strong clean energy policy leadership and entrepreneurial community.”
This year, eighty teams from over fifty universities will compete in clean energy categories that aim to diversify energy supplies, advance energy efficiency, or reduce environmental impacts from energy production, transportation and consumption.
Twenty-five semifinalists chosen by prominent judges will receive one-on-one mentoring from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. These top-notch teams will be showcased at a forum at the Hynes Convention Center in early May. Five finalists will move on to compete for the $200,000 grand prize to be awarded by NSTAR and the U.S. DOE.
Since 2008, the competition has provided hundreds of teams from over 60 universities with the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to bring clean energy technologies, products and services to the marketplace.
Past winners that have gone on to form companies in Massachusetts include: FastCAP Systems which is developing an energy storage system for hybrid vehicle batteries; Levant Power Corp which makes energy-recovering shock absorbers that reduce vehicle fuel consumption; and FloDesign Wind Turbine which has developed a high-efficiency wind turbine inspired by airplane jet engine designs.
The MIT Clean Energy Prize competition was founded by MIT, NSTAR and the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 to catalyze a new generation of clean energy solutions through innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition, affiliated with MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, is run by MIT graduate students under the leadership of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. For more information, please visit www.mitcep.org