Rutgers University selected as one of 8 institutions in the nation to host DOE annual Cleantech Collegiate Competitions

Rutgers Business School students from the Rutgers University Venture Capital Club (RUVC) were members of a Rutgers team that entered a Department of Energy collegiate competition in the spring to fund clean energy startups on college campuses.

Their proposal was titled: Mid-Atlantic Regional CleanTech University Prize (MARC-UP).  Read the project summary and list of team members below.

Professors from engineering, science, and RBS (Kevin Lyons and Ted Baker) are acting as mentors.  The student leaders of RUVC are Aaron Weber and Doron Scheffer.

Aaron Weber, President of RUVC is proud to announce: "I just received notification that we have been selected as one of the regional CleanTech University Prize locations!"

"The CleanTech University Prize Competition will revitalize the concept of BEST (Business Engineering Science Technology). These four disciplines should work hand in hand in order to establish innovation" said Weber. "But for far too long they have been polarized at Rutgers. The CleanTech University Prize Competition will facilitate bringing Business, Engineering, Science and Technology together in a manner that will give entrepreneurs the opportunity for social impact."

"CleanTech UP will establish Rutgers as a hub for CleanTech innovation in the Mid-Atlantic Region and provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to change the world through CleanTech innovation" continued Weber. "They will be provided space in order to develop their product, work closely with experienced mentors who are experts in the field, and receive funding for their companies from the department of energy at the end of the competition.

"The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) CleanTech University Prize (Cleantech UP) aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities.

CleanTech UP builds on its precursor, the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, which expanded student engagement in clean energy technologies from 2011 to 2014 and attracted more than 1,000 teams, resulting in more than 70 ventures, 120 jobs, and $60 million in follow-on funding.

Collegiate Competitions

Eight institutions will host annual CleanTech UP Collegiate Competitions and will award cash prizes. The Collegiate Competitions will establish team development and training that will aid students in developing the skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace. Winners of the Collegiate Competitions will be eligible to compete in the CleanTech UP National Competition run by the Hub.

The institutions selected to host the 2015 Collegiate Competitions are:

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Clean Energy Trust
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Rice University
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Central Florida

Mid-Atlantic Regional CleanTech University Prize (MARC-UP) Summary Abstract

Entrepreneurism-oriented student organizations at Rutgers will team up and collaborate with faculty mentors to organize the Mid-Atlantic Regional CleanTech University Prize (MARC-UP). MARC-UP will lead and run a regional CleanTech contest inviting innovative clean tech entrepreneurs in the region. Two existing, and already very active, student organizations will work together to coordinate all phases of this contest. This will include organizing the contest, developing the parameters and judging criteria (in collaboration with the MARC-UP Advisory Board, DOE and other regional partners), advertising the contest, accepting the contest entries, facilitating various entrepreneurial trainings for the contestant teams, establishing mentoring committees, and carrying out the a regional contest. The overall goal is to select a strong regional winner who will move forward to compete in the national competition. The student teams will be mentored and advised by a diverse network of entrepreneurial-oriented faculty and staff at Rutgers and from other universities and organizations in the region who are keen to educate and stimulate the next generation of CleanTech innovators. In addition, if the winning project needs lab space for initial testing or technology demonstration, the Rutgers EcoComplex “Clean Energy Innovation Center” will host the project for six months and provide technical expertise and business services as needed. We are already well connected with students and faculty regionally, and have a long history of innovation that makes Rutgers a natural choice to host a regional node of the DOE CleanTech UP competition.

Rutgers University Project Team

  • Dunbar P. Birnie, III, Ph.D. – Material Science and Engineering
  • Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, Ph.D. – Office of Economic Development
  • Serpil Guran, Ph.D. – Rutgers EcoComplex
  • Lou Cooperhouse – Rutgers Food Innovation Center
  • Kevin Lyons, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School
  • Ted Baker, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School
  • Rutgers Entrepreneurial Society
  • Rutgers Venture Capital Club
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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