Jun. 26, 2014
On Friday, April 18th seven student teams from across the Rocky Mountain region competed for $100,000 in the CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge (sponsored by the Department of Energy). The event was held in the Caruthers Biotechnology Building at CU Boulder. The teams presented their clean tech business plans to a panel of six judges. Kevin Cooney, Managing Director of Energy at Navigant Consulting (the event sponsor) showed his support for next generation energy leaders and shared how excited his firm is to be involved with this, as well as the campus new venture challenge. Doug Campbell, CEO of Solid Power (a start-up based on technology from CU Boulder), delivered a very relevant key note address on the “grit” required to be an entrepreneur and answered questions from the young entrepreneurs in the audience.
Richard Adams, Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at NREL, presented the $100, 000 prize to a CU Boulder Team—Superior Ecotech. Their technology leverages waste CO2 into their patent pending algae growth process, that can then produce a variety of products. They are partnered with Upslope Brewery and will use these funds to build and operate a greenhouse for carbon capture at the brewery in Boulder. The CEO Daniel Higgs, is a PhD student at CU Boulder and two Leeds MBAs—Nicole Reed Fry and Lang Reynolds—supported the team for this competition. We are very excited to see this team win and for the funds to go to immediate use here in Boulder.
Many thanks to the judges who volunteered for a full day and who provided the teams with incredibly meaningful feedback that will help these teams iterate on their businesses in order to move forward:
Chris Leach—Senior Associate Dean, Leeds School of Business
Robert Fenwick-Smith—Founder and Managing Director of Aravaipa Ventures
Rob Writz—Director of Clean Tech Programs for Rocky Mountain Innosphere
Craig McDonald—Managing Director, Navigant Consulting
Loren Burnett—CEO and Founder of EChromic Technologies
Richard Franklin—Executive Director of Cleantech Open
To view the article from the Department of Energy: