For the fourth straight year, NSTAR is teaming with the U.S. Department of Energy U.S. (DOE) to sponsor the MIT Clean Energy Prize, a national student business plan competition that helps turn clean energy ideas into successful businesses.
Open to university teams from across the country, the annual competition offers mentoring, coaching and cash prizes for commercializing the best clean energy innovations. Now in its fourth year, the competition has helped launch over 28 companies that have secured over $85 million in investment capital and research grants.
‘By bringing together the nation's brightest minds, this competition helps spur clean energy innovation to protect the environment, strengthen energy security and create new jobs,’ says Tom May, chairperson, president and CEO of NSTAR. ‘The competition's contribution to Massachusetts' clean energy economy is an added benefit indicative of the state's many educational institutions, strong clean energy policy leadership and entrepreneurial community.’
This year, 80 teams from over 50 universities will compete in clean energy categories that aim to diversify energy supplies, advance energy efficiency or reduce environmental impacts from energy production, transportation and consumption.
Twenty-five semifinalists chosen by prominent judges will receive one-on-one mentoring from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. These teams will be showcased at a forum at Boston's Hynes Convention Center in early May. Five finalists will move on to compete for the $200,000 grand prize to be awarded by NSTAR and the DOE.
Past winners have gone on to form companies in Massachusetts, including FloDesign Wind Turbine, which has developed a high-efficiency wind turbine inspired by airplane jet engine designs.