University to Hold DOE-Funded Clean Energy Challenge

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On Friday the University of Colorado-Boulder will be holding the Cleantech New Venture Challenge . The regional competition, in which student groups submit environmentally friendly business plans, was one of several funded in 2011 by a three-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are the details.

* The competition, which is open and free to the public, will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. at the university's Folsom Field, with opening remarks from U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman.

* Five groups, including students from CU-Boulder, the University of Colorado-Denver, Iowa State University, the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, will compete with business plans for clean energy commercialization projects.

* The projects include a cooling system for data centers, rooftop systems that capture carbon dioxide, technology that biodegrades plastic found in landfills, the conversion of crude glycerol and a treatment that cleans and recycles industrial wastewater while generating electricity.

* The judges for the team include CEOs, a venture capitalist and a research analyst, the university stated.

* The first place team from the CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge will receive $100,000 and go on to the national competition, which will be held in June in Washington, the university stated.

* The students are of all academic disciplines and levels and are supported throughout the competition with mentorship and training, the university reported.

* According to the Cleantech New Venture Challenge website , the competition may provide opportunities for global interest in the projects. The main focus is to encourage American innovation and plans can only be sold to U.S.-based companies focused on the U.S. market.

* While student groups can compete in more than one of the six regional competitions, they may only win the top prize in one regional competition.

* According to the DOE's 2011 announcement of the program, the regional competitions connect student teams with opportunities to accelerate clean energy technologies and offer mentorship to young entrepreneurs in the clean energy industry.

* Dr. Henry Kelly, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy stated at the time of the DOE's announcement that promoting innovation at the nation's universities and cultivating America's next generation of scientific and technical leaders ensures the nation's competitiveness in the clean energy economy.

* CU Cleantech is a program of CU-Boulder's Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business.

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