For the fifth straight year, NSTAR and the U.S. Department of Energy are co-sponsoring the MIT Clean Energy Prize, a business plan competition that helps launch clean energy companies. Open to university students, the competition aims to promote commercially viable solutions to reduce fossil fuel dependence, lower carbon emissions and spur economic growth.
“Transitioning to a cleaner energy future requires a steadfast commitment to innovation,” said Tom May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. “This competition has become nationally recognized for cultivating entrepreneurship and producing tangible results. It is helping Massachusetts become a hub of the new clean energy economy.”
Now in its fifth year, the competition has helped launch dozens of new companies that have raised almost $90 million in venture capital and government funding to develop clean energy products, technologies and services.
This year, fifteen semifinalist teams from over a dozen universities aspire to: improve solar, wind and wave energy technologies; maximize energy efficiency in buildings and automobiles; and commercialize a new method of carbon sequestration.To sharpen entrepreneurial skills, the teams will receive mentoring from leading clean energy experts and venture capitalists. They will then compete before a prestigious panel of judges for the $200,000 grand prize to be awarded by NSTAR and the U.S. Department of Energy on April 30 th in Boston. New this year, the winner of the MIT Clean Energy Prize will compete this summer in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington DC, part of a White House campaign called Startup America to accelerate entrepreneurship. The MIT Energy Prize competition was founded by MIT, NSTAR and the U.S. Department of Energy in 2008 to catalyze a new generation of clean energy solutions through innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition, affiliated with MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, is run by MIT graduate students under the leadership of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. For more information, please visit www.mitcep.org