LuminAID Lab and Bearing Analytics Capture $100,000 Grand Prizes at 2013 Clean Energy Challenge

Fri Apr 5, 2013 1:51pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Clean Energy Trust Awards More than $350,000 in Cash Prizes to Clean Energy
Startup Businesses
CHICAGO--(Business Wire)--
The Clean Energy Trust named solar-powered inflatable light maker LuminAID Lab
the early-stage winner of the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge and Bearing Analytics,
of Purdue University, the winner of the Student Challenge. Each company received
a $100,000 grand prize sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Inspired by the 2011 earthquake in Japan, LuminAID Lab`s founders designed its
lightweight, ship-flat solar-powered light to fulfill the need for light in
natural disaster situations. The company has sold more than 30,000 thus far and
is working on a next generation version, according to LuminAID co-founder Andrea

Bearing Analytics, of Purdue University, offers a patent-protected temperature
and vibration sensing solution to the industrial bearing market. This technology
allows users to predict bearing failure before it happens, helping to alleviate
safety concerns, prevent costly gearbox failures in wind turbines, extend
product lifetimes and increase energy efficiency. Bearing Analytics will go on
to compete at the 2013 National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in
Washington, D.C. this summer. 

Additional prizes were awarded to SmarterShade, SkySpecs, Amplified Wind
Solutions and Ornicept. SmarterShade, an Indiana-based company that makes an
innovative film system to instantly darken windows, received the $50,000 Chicago
Lakeside Prize, sponsored by McCaffery Interests. 

SkySpecs, a University of Michigan-based firm that uses an unmanned aerial
vehicle, or drone, to monitor wind turbines, bridges and other infrastructure,
won the $10,000 Invenergy Renewable Ideas prize. 

Nicole Zmij, CEO of Amplified Wind Solutions out of Cleveland State University,
was awarded the ComEd and Clean Energy Trust-sponsored Breaking Barriers in
Cleantech award for her role as an outstanding female entrepreneur. Amplified
Wind Solutions harnesses wind energy to self-power cell towers, particularly in
remote locations. 

The Clean Energy Challenge Judges spontaneously agreed during deliberations to
pool together from their own money a special $10,000 prize for Ornicept, an
early-stage competitor from Ann Arbor, Michigan that analyzes endangered bird
migration patterns to help wind developers comply with siting regulations. 

"The Challenge is designed to uncover the very best in clean energy technology
startups and kickstart their development," said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy
Trust executive director. "This year`s teams inspired us beyond expectation. The
judging was very competitive. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors,
board and judges for their help in creating more prizes for these creative

This year`s competition included businesses from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
Missouri, and Ohio. Student winners were selected in each state. The anchor
partners for the Student Challenge - Missouri Energy Initiative, NorTech,
University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio, University of Michigan, and the
Wisconsin Energy Research Consortium-provided support and guidance for all
Student Challenge finalists. 

Six state prizes were previously awarded to Student Challenge competitors in
statewide competitions.

 State          University                              Company                       
 Illinois       University of Chicago                   Effortless Energy             
 Indiana        Purdue University                       Bearing Analytics             
 Michigan       University of Michigan                  SkySpecs                      
 Missouri       Washington University in St. Louis      Aerosol Control Technologies  
 Indiana        Purdue University                       Bearing Analytics             
 Wisconsin      University of Wisconsin-- Madison       Track Gen                     

Eight early-stage and eight student finalists presented their business plans to
a distinguished panel of nationally renowned investors, policy makers and
entrepreneurs at the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge, held April 4th in Chicago. 

All of the Challenge finalists received coaching, training and business planning
assistance from dozens of volunteer mentors coordinated by the Clean Energy
Trust, a nonprofit technology accelerator that connects entrepreneurs,
researchers and early-stage companies with the expertise and capital to become
sustainable. The Clean Energy Challenge is the signature event of the Clean
Energy Trust. 

The 2013 Clean Energy Challenge sponsors include: United States Department of
Energy,Advanced Energy Economy, Ernst & Young, GE, Joyce Foundation, McCaffery
Interests, SC Johnson, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Abbott Laboratories,Ameren,
Invenergy, Missouri Energy Initiative,Nortech, Northwestern University, Purdue
University,Skadden, University of Illinois, University of Illinois at
Chicago,University of Missouri, Wanxiang America Corporation,Wisconsin Energy
Research Consortium,ARCH Venture Partners, Applied Ventures,BP Alternative
Energy, ComEd, Danfoss Group Global, DTE Energy,Dow Venture Capital, Exelon
Corporation, Illinois Ventures, Johnson Controls,Illinois Department of Commerce
and Economic Opportunity,Katten Muchin Rosenman, Khosla Ventures,Kleiner Perkins
Caufield and Byers,Lincoln Renewable Energy, Missouri Technology Corporation,
New World Ventures, Next Energy,Renergy Capital, Sidley, Steptoe &
Johnson,Technology Partners,True North Venture Partners, UK Trade & Investment,
Venrock, Walgreens, Agentis Energy, Baird Capital, Case Western Reserve
University Great Lakes Energy Institute,Dominion Community
Foundation,EDP,Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council,Ohio State University Office
of Energy & Environment,Shaw Group, Silicon Valley Bank, University of Dayton
and University of Missouri.

About Clean Energy Trust:

The Clean Energy Trust was founded by prominent business and civic leaders to
accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation in the Midwest. The trust is
supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Small Business
Administration and donations from more than 60 investors, corporations,
universities, foundations and trade groups. For more information, visit 

About the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy
technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce
dependence on foreign oil. Click here for the Funding Opportunity Announcement
about DOE`s efforts to promote a new generation of energy entrepreneurs. For
EERE`s Commercialization website, click here.

Aileron Communications
Dave Lundy, 312-629-9400
Clean Energy Trust
Amy Francetic, 847-899-2225

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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