Ohio Students Pitch Advanced Energy Tech, Business Plans

Jan. 24, 2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio January 22, 2014 They are working on efficient jet and rocket engines, sustainable fuels and alternative energy sources and they haven’t even completed their education yet.

Some of Ohio’s most innovative student entrepreneurs will pitch their cutting-edge technologies and business plans to a judging panel of industry experts and investment professionals at Cleveland State University on Wednesday, Jan. 29, in hopes of securing support as they launch their companies.

Ten student teams from universities across the state were selected as semifinalists for the 2014 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge. The event, presented by NorTech and the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio (UCEAO), is part of the Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, which was designed to create a network of student-focused business competitions.

The students have developed technologies in a variety of areas, including electric transportation, energy storage and waste/biomass to energy. They will showcase their innovations in front of a live audience while competing for a $10,000 prize and a spot in the Midwest competition in Chicago on April 3.

Over the past four months, UCEAO worked with colleges and universities throughout the state to identify student teams. Once the semifinalists were chosen, NorTech partnered each student team with an experienced entrepreneur or technical expert who served as a mentor. The semifinalists are:

Semifinalist Team                           University Affiliation                     Technology

Archer Technologies                           Ohio University                            EV stirling engine range extender

Brisa                                                 Case Western Reserve Univ.      Solar-powered evaporative AC

Carbon Origins                                  Case Western Reserve Univ.      Liquid-fueled cryogenic rocket engines

CH4                                                  Wright State University                 Small-engine natural gas conversion

EcoSpinners                                       Case Western Reserve Univ.      Hybrid fuel cell/battery bicycle

Effuelent                                             University of Cincinnati                 Wastewater to biodiesel feedstock

FGC Plasma Solutions                       Case Western Reserve Univ.      Efficient jet engines

Fuellet Energy Solutions                     University of Cincinnati                 Sustainable fuel from non-recyclables

Sprav Water LLC                               Case Western Reserve Univ.      Shower water monitoring system

Transtorage                                        Case Western Reserve Univ.      Energy storage charging management

To read short profiles of each team and their technologies, visit www.nortech.org/success-stories/company-profiles/2014cecteams.

“It’s critical to Ohio’s future that we encourage and invest in innovation, particularly in emerging industries like advanced energy,” NorTech President and CEO Rebecca Bagley says. “This competition taps into the amazing potential of our students and gives them guidance as they strive to commercialize their technologies.”

This is the third year the Clean Energy Challenge is coming to Ohio. Last year’s winner, Amplified Wind Solutions, developed a wind turbine system that produces up to six times more electricity than traditional turbines. The 2012 champion, Design Flux Technologies, created a unified power management system that eliminates the need for traditional battery chargers. Together, they raised $135,000 in additional funding since winning the Challenge.

“The Challenge not only showcases the students and their technologies, it is also a tribute to the many colleges and universities in Ohio with a commitment to clean energy education and research,” UCEAO Director Jane Harf says. “Higher education in Ohio is a training ground for the scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who will find answers for our most difficult energy questions.”

The Ohio Clean Energy Challenge will be held at the Student Center at Cleveland State University from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29. Attendees will have the chance to meet the students and network with clean energy and business thought leaders. Among them is keynote speaker Roger Ballentine, president and CEO of Green Strategies and former Chair of the White House Climate Change Task Force. To register for the event, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-ohio-clean-energy-challenge-tickets-9755618317.

About NorTech:

As an organization focused on technology and innovation, NorTech is strengthening Northeast Ohio’s economic vitality by accelerating the pace of innovation in the region.

NorTech is using its expertise in emerging industries to foster an innovation environment that provides small, medium and large companies, colleges/universities and disconnected populations with opportunities for collaboration that create jobs, attract capital and have long-term, economic impact. NorTech also connects with government leaders and other influencers to raise the visibility of Northeast Ohio’s technologyassets, position the region as an innovation hub and attract resources.

About UCEAO:

UCEAO is a statewide organization serving the needs of its members by supporting clean energy research, strengthening education, promoting a strong and vibrant business community, and enhancing Ohio’s advanced energy economy.

For more information about the 2014 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge, visit http://uceao.com/challenge or contact Christian Taske, director of communications, at 216.640.8224 or [email protected].

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