15 university-based student teams from throughout the New York / Tri-State region competed in the Regional EnergyTech University Prize business plan competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The competition was hosted by SyracuseCoE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and CenterState CEO’s CleanTech Center on February 18th. The inaugural competition was designed to challenge post-secondary students to develop and present a business plan leveraging lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. Teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential and propose a strategy are eligible to win a share of $250,000 in cash prizes. There are three phases to the event, the Explore Phase, the Refine Phase and finally, the Pitch Phase.
The “Smart i-Floor” proposal, submitted by a student team from University of Connecticut, was selected as the EnergyTech UP Regional Winner for the New York Tri-State area. The team was awarded $2,500 for their plan for durable integrated tiles that sense information and harvest energy from each footstep. The winning team will move on to compete in the next phase of the competition, the Refine Phase, held as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Week in mid-March, where they’ll refine their market analysis and business opportunity.
Additionally, two student teams were selected as Technology Bonus Prize Semi-finalists:
- Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: Pantheon, A Carbon-Negative Cement Replacement, The State University of New York at Binghamton
- Solar: Tri-Sol: A 3-in-1 Solar Skylight System, University of New Haven
Technology Bonus Prize Semi-finalists from all eleven (11) regional Explore Events will compete for $2,000 prizes in each of the six (6) categories; winners will be invited to compete in the Refine and Pitch Phases alongside the Regional Winners.
“Competitions like DOE’s EnergyTech UP give students a valuable opportunity to envision and communicate the transformation of a technical energy innovation into a successful business,” said SyracuseCoE Executive Director, Eric A. Schiff. “SyracuseCoE was pleased to host the event.”
Judges for the New York / Tri-State regional competition included Jackie Amable, managing director of Nextcorps’ Venture for ClimateTech; Andrew Graceffa, principal of the Energy & Sustainability division of SOCOTEC USA; and Jamie Newtown, head of Digitalization and Innovation at Ramboll Americas. Two teams from Syracuse University competed in the competition against teams from Columbia, University of Connecticut, Cornell, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers, SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Buffalo. Over 80 people attended the virtual event. For more information about the competition including other regional events, visit the EnergyTech University Prize webpage.