Clean Energy Challenge Fuels Purdue Innovation

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The Purdue Research Foundation is partnering with the Clean Energy Trust for the Clean Energy Challenge. The competition starts this week and will help Indiana-based clean-tech startups with investment funding and mentoring.

December 8, 2014

News Release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Research Foundation is partnering with Clean Energy Trust to kick-off the Fifth Annual Clean Energy Challenge. The program is a nationally acclaimed accelerator program and pitch competition that has jump-started more than 60 startups in the Midwest.

The competition is designed to establish a conduit for Indiana-based clean-tech startups to gain greater access to investment funding and industry-leading mentoring.

This year's program will kick off with a panel discussion from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 11) at the Anvil, 320 North Street in West Lafayette. The event is sponsored by the Purdue Research Foundation and hosted by the Anvil, a startup incubator for Purdue University and Greater Lafayette entrepreneurs.

During the program, the Clean Energy Trust will provide specifics on the opportunity for students and entrepreneurs to compete for $1 million in total investments at the Clean Energy Challenge competition, which will be April 14 in Chicago.

"Our partnership with Clean Energy Trust gives us the ability to help Purdue student entrepreneurs by exposing them to the largest clean-energy accelerator," said Jonathan Gortat, senior project manager I of the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. "The Clean Energy Challenge is a great opportunity for clean-energy startups to receive early-stage funding and industry-leading mentorship."

Companies that participated in the Clean Energy Challenge program have received a total of $2.2 million in startup funding, raised $46 million in additional funding and created more than 300 jobs since the challenge began in 2011. This year, the Clean Energy Trust will award a record total of $1 million in investment funding to winners.

"The Clean Energy Challenge has helped us transform the Midwest into a focal point for the clean-energy industry by fostering entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation among these startups," said Amy Francetic, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. "The program gives clean-tech startups the opportunity to secure essential startup funding and exposure to some of the industry's leaders on a national stage."

Applications for competitors are open now and will be accepted through Jan. 13, 2015. Startups and students can apply at the Clean Energy Challenge website at challenge.cleanenergytrust.org.

Clean Energy Trust relies on the generosity and support of sponsor organizations, such as Wells Fargo, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and the U.S. Department of Energy, to present the Clean Energy Challenge.

About Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust (CET) fuels clean energy innovation in the Midwest. A Chicago-based nonprofit, CET helps launch, fund and grow Midwest clean energy companies to ensure a more prosperous, sustainable future for generations to come. CET does this through direct investment, commercialization assistance, mentorship, access to its broad partner network and the promotion of a supportive clean-energy community and business climate. For more information visit www.cleanenergytrust.org.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship.

Source: Purdue Research Foundation