University of Colorado to host cleantech contest

College students are developing clean technology business plans as part of a competition in which the winning team will receive $100,000.

The CU Cleantech New Venture Challenge is part of a Department of Energy initiative focused on developing clean energy businesses emerging from universities and laboratories. The University of Colorado at Boulder will play host to the competition finals on April 20.

More than a dozen teams from institutions such as the University of Colorado, University of Utah, University of Northern Iowa, North Dakota State University and University of Phoenix are competing. Teams submitted business plans that advanced the energy department’s mission to enhance energy efficiency and bring clean energy technologies to the marketplace.

Students’ business plans range from alternative energies to waste reduction.

Several CU teams are competing, said Steve Herschleb, competition program manager and MBA student at the university.

“They want the competition to be primarily run, organized, marketed … as much as possible by students,” Herschleb said about the Department of Energy.

The winning team will compete against five other regional winners in a national competition for the grand prize in Washington, D.C., this summer.

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