CHICAGO (February 17, 2016) – Clean Energy Trust (CET) has selected 14 cleantech startups from across the Midwest to compete for $1 million in investments at its 6th Annual CET Challenge on April 12. The 14 finalists, ranging from student startups to early stage companies, are driving innovation throughout the cleantech industry – in advanced transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage, and information technologies. These 14 finalists were selected from almost 80 total applicants in a detailed evaluation process supported by more than 75 subject-matter and industry experts.
The Clean Energy Trust Challenge is a nationally recognized accelerator program and the largest single-day clean energy pitch competition in the nation. The event brings together venture capitalists, industry executives, civic leaders, the media and the public to watch startups pitch their businesses and learn from prominent thought leaders. Method co-founder Adam Lowry will join former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers as keynote speakers at this year’s Challenge. Environmentalist and entrepreneur, Adam Lowry, built an eco-conscious soap empire founded on the principles of sustainability and green design. Jim Rogers was the first CEO in the electric utility industry to speak about the industry changes needed in the face of climate change.
Since 2011, CET has invested in 29 startups across the Midwest. Clean Energy Trust Challenge companies have gone on to raise an additional $86 million in follow-on funding and have created more than 300 new jobs. The Challenge has jumpstarted more than 80 startups in the Midwest to date, including Detroit’s GreenLancer, and Chicago’s NETenergy and LuminAID.
"CET believes in the powers of science, innovation and entrepreneurship to bring about better and cleaner energy solutions," said CET CEO Erik Birkerts. "Our 2016 accelerator class of 14 of the most promising student and early stage companies in the Midwest exemplifies such human ingenuity."
The finalist companies range from a ridesharing app for enterprises to micro solar grids for the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the weeks leading up to the Challenge, finalists will gain commercialization assistance, mentorship, access to an elite partner network and the promotion of a supportive clean energy community and business climate.
Two finalists in particular have interesting applications for the utility industry: AMF Nano and Renewance.
Meet the 2016 Clean Energy Challenge Class:
● 10x Technology- 10x produces micro and nano-structured materials for high- value applications such as increasing the efficiency in lighting buildings and enhancing the sustainability in delivery drugs.
● AMF Nano- Using unique nano-packing technology, AMF Nano fits proprietary wireless sensors to the outside of tanks to measure the volume of liquids and solids in real time.
● Current Motor- With electric cargo motorcycles housed and transported in a containerized solar charging station with on-board battery storage, Current Motor has developed an energy-independent mini-fleet-in-a-box.
● CrystalE- CrystalE uses piezoelectric technology to create self- powered sensors for building envelope monitoring.
● DATTUS- DATTUS’s hardware and software systems for data collection, aggregation, visualization, and analytics provide a seamless path for industries to add failure-predicting smart machines to their operations.
● Hazel- Hazel is developing an ethylene inhibitor delivery system to prevent food spoilage.
● INjoo Networks- INjoo is developing Artificial Intelligence software to optimize resources in any building without additional hardware or sensors.
● Innova EV- Innova EV has developed the DASH electric vehicle to address the growing demand for environmentally responsible first mile/last mile transportation needs in urban and university settings.
● ThermoLift- ThermoLift is developing a cold-climate natural gas air-conditioner and heat pump technology that combines space heating, air-conditioning, and water heating into a single appliance.
● Nexmatix- Nexmatix has developed a platform of products that makes pneumatics more efficient, including directional control valves used for actuation systems and air leak detection products that can recycle compressed air in non- actuated systems.
● NovoMoto- NovoMoto is developing a micro solar grid for use in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
● Renewance- Renewance provides one-stop-shop cradle-to-grave regulatory compliance and asset management for industrial batteries.
● SonicLQ- SonicLQ uses sound waves to detect and measure air leaks in buildings to save money and energy on heating and cooling.
● SPLT- SPLT is a ridesharing app for enterprises that aims to alleviate the burden and demand on every transportation system.
Finalists will compete for prizes totaling $1 million. This year, prize sponsors include the United States Department of Energy, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Wells Fargo, The Pritzker Foundation, United Airlines, the Hanley Family Foundation, and Shirley Weese Young, among others.
Tickets are now on sale for the 6th Annual Clean Energy Trust Challenge at https://cetchallenge2016.eventbrite.com. The full day competition will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at Venue SIX10 at the Spertus Institute, 610 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605.
Visit cleanenergytrust.org/challenge for details. ###
About Clean Energy Trust:
Clean Energy Trust (CET) is an impact investor that fuels innovation to create a healthier environment and more prosperous future. CET launches, funds, and grows early stage clean energy startups in the Midwest through direct investment, venture development, and energy policy. Since 2011, CET has invested in 29 startups across the Midwest states. Clean Energy Trust Challenge companies have gone on to raise an additional $86 million in follow-on funding and have created more than 300 new jobs.