Companies are building robots to clean solar panels,
developing more efficient solar cells, and
recovering energy from wastewater treatment plants.
Young entrepreneurs developing energy from waste water treatment, robots for cleaning solar panels and solar cell films with 20% more efficiency took the top prizes at the First Look West (FLoW) regional finals competition. At an awards celebration held at the California Institute of Technology on May 1, Stanford Nitrogen Group, Greenbotics and Xite Solar shared $200,000 in prize money.
The FLoW competition is one of six awarded regionally as part of a three-year, $2 million DOE program. The winning teams from six regions went on to compete at a competition held at the
Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. June 12 & 13, 2012.
We thank all FLoW student teams and their supporters and our sponsors and community members that attended our regional finals on May 1st, 2012.
During FLoW's first year, these companies were established and continue to thrive:
Stanford Nitrogen Group took the top prize of $100,000. Yaniv Scherson and his team tackled a worldwide pollution problem with engineering smarts that yields a new source of energy while handling a serious waste issue. Stanford Nitrogen Group's innovative CANDO process not only removes waste nitrogen, but also converts it into a combustible gas that can "turboboost" energy recovery from wastewater treatment systems. Learn more »
Second Place Winner was Greenbotics. The university team from UCLA and Caltech spotted a $3 billion global market opportunity in cleaning dirty solar panels at solar power plants that are currently operating below their peak performance. Learn more »
Third Place was won by Xite Solar. The UC Berkeley team has developed a new class of solar cells that could provide the long-awaited breakthrough that will make solar a major source of energy production. Learn more »
Promising Idea: Hawaii's eHale took the inaugural Promising Idea award given to companies whose business vision has potential but is not quite a ready-to-go business. E-Hale is a Hawaiian alternative design group, integrating sustainable materials, ergonomics and S.E.E. (Spot Energy Enabling) © energy storage units within innovative indoor and outdoor, home and office furniture. Learn more »
- 100+ contestants
- 83 applicants
- 34 universities
- 12 states
- battery materials for portable electronic devices to net energy+ home kits, hydroponic farms and apps for tracking energy use.
Top panel of judges:
- Mohr Davidow
- Khosla Venture
- Kleiner Perkins
- Sierra Ventures
- CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund
- the Angeleno Group
- Southern California's Pasadena and Tech Coast Angels