Meet the Winners of the 2015 Clean Energy Challenge

On Tuesday, April 14th, Clean Energy Trust awarded $1,000,000 to clean energy startups at the Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago. This year’s event marked the fifth Clean Energy Challenge, and the $1m fund has grown significantly from the $140k awarded at the inaugural Challenge in 2011.

With the support or our outstanding sponsors and partners, Clean Energy Trust has enabled student, early stage and emerging growth clean tech companies to create over 300 jobs and raise an additional $62m in follow-on funding.

Take a moment to meet our winners and new additions to our roster of portfolio companies:

NETenergy: The Pritzker Foundation Prize ($100,000)
A student team from University of Chicago, NETenergy is an energy storage and management service provider that combines intelligent energy management software with a unique thermal storage technology using phase change composites

Igor: The Wells Fargo Prize ($100,000) & McCaffery Lakeside Building Efficiency Prize ($25,000)
An Iowa-based Power-over-Ethernet lighting, sensor, and data platform, Igor licenses its technology and services to manufacturers, leading to 80% savings towards installation and 60% savings towards energy.

DesignFlux Technologies: The ComEd Female Founder Prize ($20,000) & Clean Energy Prize Fund award ($55,000)
This female-lead company has developed a patented software-based battery power management system. They use predictive software algorithms and minimal peripheral circuitry to control all functions in a battery pack.

FGC Plasma Solutions: The U.S. Department of Energy Student Prize ($50,000) & The Aviation Clean Energy Award ($50,000)
A Case Western Reserve University student team is developing a fuel nozzle to improve jet-engine efficiency. Their technology will improve fuel economy and safety by integrated plasma in the combustion process.

Sun Number: The Hanley Foundation Prize ($20,000) & Clean Energy Prize Fund ($30,000)
Sun Number has developed a tool for analyzing rooftops and the solar power potential of the roof.  Their process is intended to help companies identify and best properties for solar installations and target specific customers, and also offers a quick, fun service for consumers to instantly calculate their house’s Sun Number.

Glucan Biorenewables: Clean Energy Prize fund ($50,000)
A Missouri-based company that is developing a platform to commercialize a solvent-based biomass conversion that delivers cost-disruptive production of specialty and commodity drop-in chemicals.

NuMat Technologies: Emerging Growth Award, Clean Energy Prize Fund ($300,000)
NuMat has developed a method for storing gases that is more efficient and safer than traditional compression, and less energy intensive. Their technology uses materials that absorb gases, rather than compresses gases, on to highly concentrated surfaces.

Ampy: Emerging Growth Award, Clean Energy Prize Fund ($200,000)
The smallest wearable motion charger on the market, AMPY allows users to charge their devices through movement. This innovative product has been gaining popularity as an alternative to the lengthy wait for charging stations at large events, for distance athletes, and for frequent travelers.

Each of the finalists in the 2015 Clean Energy Challenge presented innovative, forward-thinking solutions to the challenges facing clean energy technology. We were thoroughly impressed by our teams, and grateful for the opportunity to support and represent such a diverse and dynamic array of ideas. We look forward to the continued success of all of our finalists and winners, and we applaud your dedication to the changing the world of clean energy.

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By Emily Achler | April 20, 2015