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Clean Energy Challenge Deadline is Monday, December 3; Finalists to Compete for More Than $300,000 in Cash Prizes


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CHICAGO--November 27, 2012: Less than a week remains until the December 3rd application deadline for the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge, the Midwest's premier event for the clean energy startup sector. Previous Challenge finalists have gone on to win the nation's most prestigious clean energy competitions, including Cleantech Open, Rice Business Plan Competition and the U.S. Dept. of Energy's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition.

“Our finalists are repeatedly proving that this region will reshape the nation's energy future.”

Most recently, 2012 Challenge finalist Algal Scientific Corp won the first-place prize at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Event. The honor comes with $500,000 to help launch the biotech startup.

The Clean Energy Challenge is open to early-stage businesses and student entrepreneurs from the eight-state Midwest region. As the signature event of the Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, the Challenge is designed to identify and accelerate the most promising Midwest enterprises in the sector, said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust executive director.

"The Clean Energy Challenge is the centerpiece of the Midwest clean energy ecosystem because it brings together the research institutions, investors and businesses that are making the region the leader in American clean energy innovation," Francetic said. "Our finalists are repeatedly proving that this region will reshape the nation's energy future."

Thus far, Challenge finalists have created more than 200 high-tech jobs in the Midwest and raised more than $23 million in follow-on funding. Other highlights include:

  • 2012 Student Challenge winner NuMat Technologies wins Rice Business Plan Competition
  • NuMat Technologies wins National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition
  • 2012 Challenge finalist HEVT wins grand prize at Cleantech Open
  • 2012 Student Challenge finalist SiNode wins Energy Efficiency prize at Cleantech Open

Finalists in the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge will receive mentoring and training from the Clean Energy Trust in preparation for the April 4 finals in Chicago. A panel of nationally renowned investors and clean energy business leaders will award more than $300,000 in cash prizes.

The Clean Energy Challenge is a two-track competition for entrepreneurs with companies in different stages of development. The Early Stage Challenge is for competitors with fully developed business plans and established startup companies. The Student Challenge is for students in the eight-state Midwest region who want to develop a clean energy business.

Complete rules and eligibility for the Challenge are available at Clean Energy Trust.