ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – MegaWatt Ventures, an annual University of Central Florida clean energy business competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, selected ten teams to be awarded $10,000 in their second annual class. The ten selected teams will now compete for a $100,000 grand prize on September 20-21, 2012 at the MegaWatt Ventures 2012 Competition, which is part of the CleanTech to SpaceTech event (cleantechtospacetech.com). In addition to the $10,000 award, the ten finalist teams will each be assigned professional mentors and gain access to business workshops which will help to develop a commercially viable technology company. Mentorship includes coaching on business plans and strategy, presenting a technical concept to potential investors and education on additional funding sources available, such as federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. The teams will have access to both high-level executive business and product/technology development mentors. Many of the companies are spin-outs from Florida‘s university research labs and all of the companies currently employ students from these universities. The ten companies were selected by a panel of seasoned venture capitalists, technology experts, and industry veterans.
The 2012 MegaWatt Venture’s finalists include: Almos Battery (Orlando), Carposol (Orlando), CeramiPower (Orlando), Florida Technology Development Corporation (Tallahassee), Illuminated Electric (Melbourne), Nautilida Solar (Auburndale), Omnii Sense, LLC (Jacksonville), PV Integrated (Cocoa Beach), Trash2Cash-Energy, LLC (Tampa) and UB-WISYSTEMS (Gainesville). While some of these companies have been involved in production or research prior to Megawatt Ventures, most were created as a result of the funding provided from becoming a finalist in this competition.
Many of the technologies are being developed with mentorship from or in conjunction with Florida university research including programs at Florida Institute of Technology, Florida State University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of South Florida and the University of North Florida. These technologies come from several different renewable sources including affordable utility batteries (Almos Battery), flexible energy harvesting material (Carposol), super adiabatic combustion materials (Cerami Power), unique micro-controllers for PV systems (Florida Technology Development Corporation), solar powered hybrid lighting system (Illuminated Electric), uniquely shaped solar concentrating systems (Nautilida Solar), intelligent wireless sensor networks (Omnii Sense, LLC), improved processes for solar cell manufacturing (PV Integrated), a process for fuel production from biomass (Trash2Cash-Energy, LLC), and a low power wi-fi solution (UB-WISYSTEMS).
“We feel this competition will help not only these companies in their quest to commercialize, but will also raise awareness of the business opportunities in the renewable energy sector to many other entrepreneurs in Florida,” said Tom O’Neal, Executive Director of the program.
These companies will compete at the MegaWatt Ventures’ showcase event, which will be held at the Florida Hotel and Conference Center on September 20-21, 2012. This year’s showcase event, “Cleantech to Spacetech” will be held in conjunction with two other Florida-based clean energy programs: Florida Cleantech Acceleration Network (FL-CAN) Showcase and the Igniting Innovation (I2) Capital Showcase. To register or obtain more information, visit cleantechtospacetech.com.
In the months leading up to the event, all teams will be required to attend unique workshops customized to the renewable energy industry. Since most of the companies were founded by technologists, their first workshop will be a “Business Bootcamp” based on the Kauffman Foundation content, focusing on venture capital fundraising and other necessary management skills. Ensuing workshops will include how to effectively produce a return on investment analyses, critical sales techniques for the clean energy industry, as well as a rare peek into the entire customer decision chain in implementing solar solutions for municipalities.
MegaWatt Ventures is an annual clean energy business plan competition that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Central Florida in conjunction with the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Florida Institute of Technology. The competition has an over-riding mission of encouraging the commercialization of innovative energy-related technologies from the lab bench into the marketplace. Students, entrepreneurs and faculty are eligible to participate in this exciting annual program that brings innovation, entrepreneurship and the energy industry together to create new ventures that have the potential to create new jobs and help solve today’s global energy issues. For more information, please visit www.megawattventures.com or call 407-882-0594.
Contact: Christa Santos
407-882-1576 or c) 407-230-7018
SOURCE MegaWatt Ventures