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Business Plan Competition to Focus on Clean and Renewable Energy Technologies

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany ("UAlbany"), in partnership with UAlbany's School of Business, the Lally School of Management + Technology at Rensselaer, and the Union Graduate College School of Management, today will host Tech Valley's first business plan competition to focus exclusively on new innovations for clean and renewable energy technologies.

The inaugural Tech Valley Business Plan Competition will be presented on Wednesday, April 28 at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex. Presentations will begin at 2 p.m., with the winners to be announced during a closing reception at 7:15 p.m.

Twelve teams comprised of college students from multi-disciplinary educational backgrounds will present their business plans to develop and market a variety of green energy innovations, from integrated solar energy technologies and high capacity energy storage systems to cutting-edge technologies that reduce water consumption and material waste, among others.

A panel of 15 experts from the energy, financial and legal sectors will select the top three business plans, with the first-prize winner to receive $10,000 in cash, $8,000 of in-kind legal services from Heslin Rothenberg Farley Mesiti, PC, and $1,000 of in-kind services from ECG Consulting. The second-place finisher will receive $5,000 in cash and $1,000 of in-kind services from ECG Consulting, and the third-place finisher will receive $2,000 in cash.

"The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to host this inaugural competition, which provides an innovative platform for students to combine cutting-edge research on critical clean energy technologies with the development of a sound and practical business plan," said Pradeep Haldar, Director of CNSE's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center ("E2TAC"), which is spearheading the event. "This unique opportunity to link innovative research with solid business acumen will further support the growth of the clean energy industry in New York State."

"This landmark event illustrates the School of Business's strong commitment to promoting student entrepreneurship. The business plan competition will serve as a focal point of our new undergraduate program in entrepreneurship and other initiatives to promote technological and social entrepreneurship," said Donald Siegel, Dean of UAlbany's School of Business. "It also complements our efforts to use our new $54 million School of Business Building as the catalyst for effective commercialization of ideas and intellectual property developed at the university. The School of Business wants to create new firms and new jobs for the Capital Region."

"It is truly impressive to see the efforts of students in developing clean energy innovations that push the envelope of new technology while maintaining a strong focus on a sustainable business plan," said Jean Howard, Executive Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at the Lally School of Management & Technology. "In this way, the students are participating in a unique educational experience: offering solutions to one of society's most important challenges that are both technologically efficient and cost effective."

"The Tech Valley Business Plan Competition offers a novel approach to engaging students in the challenge of developing cutting-edge technologies that can successfully transition to the marketplace," said Eric Lewis, Dean of the School of Management at Union Graduate College. "Importantly, the innovations being presented by the students have the potential to make an impact not only in the business world, but also in supporting the critical need for sustainable energy and a clean environment."

Participating teams include: Active Recharge (School of Business, University at Albany); Aurora Technologies (UAlbany CNSE); BESS Technologies (UAlbany CNSE); Controlled Environment High Rise Farm (Clarkson University); EcoWash (UAlbany CNSE); Independence Public Biking System (School of Business, University at Albany); PassiveFit (School of Business, University at Albany); Power Park (School of Business, University at Albany); Promethean Revolution (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute); Smart Ennovation (UAlbany CNSE); SunFlower Solar Energy (Union College); and Sustain-a-PET (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

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