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Ignite Clean Energy Competition 2009 Finals at the State House

November 12, 2009

2009.11.10 Ignite Clean Energy Competition Small

Senator Karen Spilka hosted the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) Competition on Tuesday, November 10, 2009.  Above, the Senator poses with ICE Chair and Hopkinton resident Clark Waterfall, Senate President Therese Murray and Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

The Massachusetts State House hosted the 5th annual Ignite Clean Energy Competition on Tuesday, November 10, 2009.  Ten teams competed in the final round of the business plan competition, representing innovations in clean technology ranging from solar and hydro power solutions to energy storage.  The finalist teams included ARRIBA Solar, DyPol, EGG-energy, Hydrocoal Technologies, InnoSepra, IntAct Labs, The Paper Battery Company, Resolute Marine Energy, Velkess Inc. and POWERleap.
 
“We’re excited to hold this year’s competition at the State House,” said Clark Waterfall, 2009 Competition Chair.  “A successful public/private partnership continues to be a pivotal component in growing the clean tech industry nationally and holding this year’s finals event at the State House drives that point home.  The diversity and commercial potential of these ideas should prove to anyone that innovation in clean tech continues to thrive despite signs of economic stress in other sectors.”
 
Previously held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other locations, this year’s competition was moved to the State House thanks to State Senator Karen Spilka, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development.  “The ICE Competition is a perfect example of the innovation happening here in Massachusetts and I believe it’s critical for every legislator and official in the State House to meet the people driving this industry,” said Senator Spilka.  “Green jobs are the silver lining of this economy.  The clean energy industry is flourishing in a difficult economy and on a global scale.  For Massachusetts to continue to be competitive within this space, we must support it here by capitalizing on the state’s greatest natural resource – our innovative people.”
 
The growth of the competition has mirrored the growth of the emerging clean tech industry internationally.  In 2004, the competition began with just over 30 teams vying for the grand prize.  This year, ICE welcomed over 100 entries.   “The growth of the ICE competition has been phenomenal,” said Waterfall.  “We work very hard to highlight the creativity, breadth of ideas and depth of commitment within the clean tech sector as well as developing the next wave of good entrepreneurial companies.  Our teams find the process invaluable to helping them get their companies off the ground and running.”
 
The 10 finalists were determined after 30 semifinalists presented to several panels of judges at the semifinals event on September 17th at Babson College. Each team gave a 10 minute presentation to convince judges that their business plan and technology represents an exciting investment opportunity. Teams received strategic feedback on the viability of their business plan and ways to improve their pitches from the volunteer judges representing the venture capital, intellectual property, entrepreneurial and academic communities.
 
In addition to the competition itself, the day-long event also featured a panel discussion on the future of the clean tech industry that included panelists Chris Hobson, Co-founder & COO of Bandgap Engineering , David Anthony, Managing Director at 21 Ventures  and Sanjay Wagle, Renewable Energy Grants Advisor at U.S. Department of Energy.

Speakers included Senator Spilka, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Greg Bialecki;  Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles;  Senate President Therese Murrary; and Senator Anthony Petruccelli.
 
Sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, Inc., the Ignite Clean Energy (ICE) business plan competition began in 2004 to stimulate the growing clean energy industry in New England.  It provides start-up clean energy companies and entrepreneurs with the opportunities and resources to develop business skills, network with industry professionals and the chance to attract potential investors. The winners will be awarded as much as $200,000 in cash and services.  The leading sponsor for the 2009 ICE competition is the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. For more information, please visit www.ignitecleanenergy.com.

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