Apr 18, 2007, 10:40am EDT
Original article: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/mass-high-tech/2007/04/mit-names-clean-energy-competition-finalists.html
The MIT Enterprise Forum has announced the 10 finalists vying for $250,000 in cash and services in its fourth annual Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) business plan competition.
The 10 finalists were whittled down from 30 semifinalist groups and a total of 61 entries spanning the spectrum of environmental technology -- from solar energy to cooking fuels to carbon trading.
The ICE reported a record number of entries for this year's competition, jumping 50 percent over last year. The trend mimics an industry movement that has seen the interest in environmental business soar over the past year. Worldwide, venture capital firms invested $1.28 billion in clean-tech businesses in 2006, a nearly 50 percent increase over 2005's $664.1 million, according to a year-end report from Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young.
Entrants have also shown a keen eye on the business elements of sustainable energy projects, according to event organizers, proving that it is possible to make green products that make economic sense.
"The business community has become very interested in these kinds of business, and the business plans are becoming more sophisticated," said Linda Plano, competition chair and the associate director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center.
Winners are set to be announced May 1.
- Bagazo is a for-profit organization with the aim of developing self-sustaining cooking fuel generation, using agricultural waste, for developing countries.
- Blue Sky Green Planet has developed a website and incentive programs allowing consumers to buy economically friendly products through the use of a Carbon Free Credit Card, which incorporates carbon offsets.
- C3 BioEnergy is a technology company aimed at manufacturing renewable propane and a hydrogen byproduct from biomass feedstocks.
- Fiat Lux has developed a small power generator using carbon from plant and animal matter to help power lights, recharge cell phones and operate telecommunications devices in developing regions.
- Fox2 Technologies is developing new sensor technology for airplane and trucking operators that improves fuel efficiency by more than 5 percent, while also reducing carbon emissions.
- GreenRay is developing a plug-and-play, solar-electric system for the simple installation of solar power to common residences.
- LightFace is a technology firm that aims to manufacture customizable luminescent panels for high-end architectural lighting applications.
- RSI Silicon is a materials company that has developed a low-cost process for making solar grade silicon.
- StarSolar has developed a technology that can decrease the cost of producing solar cells made from thin layers of crystalline silicon.
- Wakonda Technologies Inc. produces cost-effective solar photovoltaic products by using roll-to-roll manufacturing processes.