Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Congratulations Midwest Cleantech University Prize Finalists Minnealloy Magnetics and Abyss Incoporated


University of Minnesota student-led ventures from the College of Science and Engineering Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science are TWO of the eight finalists for the Midwest 2017 Cleantech University Prize!  Both ventures have participated in MIN-Corps programming.
Minnealloy Magnetics is led by Md Mehedi, a doctoral student in Materials Science who does research in Jian-Ping Wang's lab.  
Mehedi applied for the Cleantech Prize a year ago and the feedback inspired them to seek out the NextEnergy I-Corps program in Detroit (which we paid for Mehedi to attend), as well as to get coaching from both the Holmes Center and the Office for Technology Commercialization.  Minnealloy also won the Student Division prize of the 2016 MN Cup venture competition.  Minnealloy Magnetics makes soft magnetic materials that increase the efficiency of transformers and inductors used in power converters, motors, generators, and sensors.
Abyss Incorporated is led by Ethan Loosbrock, an undergrad in Chemical Engineering.  Ethan has attended the MIN-Corps value proposition design workshops and strategy clinics, and will participate in the STARTUP course this spring.  Abyss focuses on advanced energy storage devices, such as lithium air batteries.
According to Clean Energy Trust, these are the finalists' next steps - they're going to have an exciting few weeks:
Over the next five weeks, these student startups will be matched with expert mentors from CET’s cultivated network and work with CET staff to refine their business models and pitch. The final pitch showcase will be held on February 9th at the Polsky Center for Innovation and will be free and open to the public. The keynote speakers are Will Allen, former NFL player and current cleantech champion, and Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, the Skokie-based waste-gas-to-fuel startup with Series D funding.

The winner of the final event – the Cleantech UP Showcase – will be determined by a panel of expert cleantech industry judges. The winner will receive a $50,000 grant and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers will go on to present at the Clean Energy Trust Challenge event – as well as the Department of Energy National Cleantech UP competition.

Congratulations Mehedi and Ethan!