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$1 Million Clean Energy Trust Challenge For Midwestern Clean Energy And Cleantech Start-ups

The 6th annual Clean Energy Trust Challenge is accepting applications for its Midwestern cleantech startup competition. One million dollars will be awarded to the winners on April 12, 2016, in Chicago.


The competition categories are: Renewable Energy, Advanced Transportation, Efficiency, Energy Storage, Building Technologies, Microgrids/Smartgrids, Bioenergy, Water-Energy Nexus, and Internet of Things/Smart Cities.

Students, entrepreneurs, and researchers can all apply to compete in the Clean Energy Trust Challenge.

Some of the competition’s past winners have been:

  • LuminAID, a then-student company who, after winning $100,000 at the CET Clean Energy Challenge, went on to become a Shark Tank Season 6 success story. (Cleantechnica published an interview with LuminAID a while back.)
  • Detroit’s GreenLancer, who has since gone on to raise $5 million in Series B funding after winning the Clean Energy Trust Business Model Innovation Prize in 2014.
  • Chicago’s AMPY, who after winning a Clean Energy Trust Challenge award, launched a national Kickstarter campaign which raised $309,000 and was featured in Forbes Magazine, CBS This Morning, Fast Company, CNET, and others.

Some of the challenge’s sponsors are the Department of Energy, Wells Fargo, The Pritzker Foundation, United Airlines, and the Hanley Family Foundation.

“CET is one of the leading sustainable technology accelerators in the US and Wells Fargo is thrilled to be sponsoring a prize at the Clean Energy Trust Challenge for the 5th year,” explained Ashely Grosh, VP for Environmental Affairs for Wells Fargo. “CET has successfully created a unique ecosystem, while helping us keep a pulse on emerging technologies.”

Of course, spurring innovation is a great contributor to business, because bringing new ideas to fruition not only inspires change, it can add new jobs in the areas where the new companies are located. Clean Energy Trust companies have created at least 300 jobs and have raised about $71 million in funding, in addition to their prize monies.

You can imagine how adding 300 or more clean energy jobs impacts a local economy. So, clean energy in that sense is not only “green”, it can also improve the lives of people.

Image Credit: via CET


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