Clean Energy Trust Announces Semifinalists For The Inaugural Student Clean Energy Challenge

Chicago (Press Release – January 5, 2012) – The Clean Energy Trust is excited to announce the semifinalists in its inaugural Clean Energy Student Challenge. A distinguished panel of independent evaluators selected student-led companies from eight states to compete for $50,000 in state prizes and the $100,000 grand prize, provided by the Department of Energy.

Applications from eight states were submitted in all technology areas of clean energy; from waste-to-energy solutions and biofuels to solar cells and new wind energy innovations. The semifinalists will receive mentoring to prepare them to present their business plans to a panel of judges comprised of venture capitalists, corporate investors and business leaders. The presentations will be made on the afternoon of February 29th, when eight finalists will earn a chance to compete for the grand prize on March 1 at the Spertus Center in Chicago.

“The Student Challenge is truly bringing the best and the brightest students from some of our nation’s most prestigious universities to the forefront of the clean energy world,” noted Amy Francetic, executive director of the Clean Energy Trust. “They have taken wonderfully innovative technologies and built viable business plans around them.”

    Finalists, University, Category

  1. Amplified Wind Solutions, Cleveland State University, renewables
  2. ATS Motors, Purdue University, next-gen transportation
  3. Bagpipe Technologies, Northwestern University, energy-efficiency
  4. Convolutus Inc., Purdue University, energy-efficiency
  5. Design Flux Technologies,  University of Akron, energy storage
  6. Effimax Solar, University of Illinois–Urbana, renewables
  7. Electroluminescent Products, University of Missouri–Kansas City, energy-efficiency
  8. Hydraulic Wind Power, Indiana University, renewables
  9. NanoHarv, Case Western Reserve University, renewables
  10. NuMat Technology, Northwestern University, energy storage
  11. Power-by-Nano, Purdue University, renewables
  12. ReGenerate Solutions, University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, biomass
  13. Re:Wind, Purdue University, renewables
  14. Root3, University of Chicago, energy-efficiency
  15. Saturnis, Washington University, biomass
  16. SiNode, Northwestern University, energy storage

Finalists will present their business plans to a prestigious panel of judges at the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge on March 1. The winner of the Student Challenge will compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. this summer.

CET and its anchor partners—Cleantech Open and Nortech (Ohio), University of Michigan, Purdue University (Indiana) and Washington University (Missouri)—held statewide competitions to select three finalists from each state to compete in the Clean Energy Student Challenge in Chicago.  An additional 16 universities from across the Midwest served as supporting partners for the competitions.

The 2012 Clean Energy Challenge corporate sponsors include Wells Fargo, Acciona, Skadden, ArcelorMittal, Invenergy, Planet Solar, UK Trade and Investment, Goldwind, West Capital, True North Venture Partners and Marathon Capital.

About Clean Energy Trust:

The Clean Energy Trust was founded by prominent business and civic leaders to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation in the Midwest. The Trust is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Small Business Administration and donations from over 50 investors, corporations, universities and trade groups. For more information, visit

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