Northwestern University Wins DOE Clean Energy Business Plan Competition
The Department of Energy recently announced that NuMat Technologies from Northwestern University won the first-ever DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. As the winning team, Northwestern University was awarded $180,000, which includes seed money for its business plan and additional prizes from sponsors, including technical, design and legal assistance. NuMat Technologies presented a plan to commercialize a nanomaterial that stores gases at lower pressure, reducing infrastructure costs and increasing design flexibility. One potential application for this innovation is in designing tanks to store natural gas more efficiently in motor vehicles. NuMat Technologies won based on its commercialization idea, go-to market strategy, team plan, environmental benefits and potential impact on America’s clean energy economy.
Inspiring some of the country’s best and brightest students to become the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs is crucial to supporting an economy that is built to last,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The winning team from Northwestern University worked to build out a promising new materials technology, develop an effective business plan and sell the idea to potential investors, laying the groundwork for future economic opportunities that will ensure America remains competitive in the global clean energy race.
In the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, students from the top U.S. universities were tasked with forming a complete business plan to commercialize a technology developed at their school or one of the National Labs. Each company pitches to panels of expert judges at the regional levels before they advanced to the final pitch and a chance at the grand prize. Out of 300 student teams nationwide, only six regional finalists made it to the final pitch. The five runners up were:
- Mesdi Systems from University of Central Florida
- Navillum Nanotechnologies from University of Utah
- SolidEnergy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stanford Nitrogen Group from Stanford University
- Radiator Labs from Columbia University
NuMat Technologies beat some tough competition to become the grand prize winner of the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. As a proud alum, I dedicate today’s blog post to Northwestern University. Congratulations Wildcats!