Clean Energy Trust Announces $500,000 in Prizes for 2014 Clean Energy Challenge

Business competition is proven launching pad for nation’s best cleantech innovation

Business Wire


Clean Energy Trust today announced that $500,000 in prizes will be awarded at the 2014 Clean Energy Challenge, the Midwest’s leading showcase for clean energy innovation. The annual event will take place on April 3, 2014 in Chicago.

The Clean Energy Challenge has produced consecutive winners of the Department of Energy’s National Clean Energy Business Competition. Challenge finalists have also capitalized on their success to secure $39 million in outside investment, create more than 200 Midwest jobs and register more than 25 patents.

“Our finalists have repeatedly proven that the Midwest is a center for cleantech research and innovation,” said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust CEO. “Leading venture capitalists, corporations and government agencies increasingly rely on the Challenge to provide a window on the next big idea in cleantech.”

The Challenge, the culmination of months of mentoring and coaching, combines a business plan competition for Midwestern entrepreneurs, researchers and students with presentations by leading clean energy thinkers and doers. The 2014 Clean Energy Challenge will bring the prize total for Midwest cleantech startups to more than $1 million since the competition began in 2011.

The Challenge enjoys strong support from sponsors such as the Department of Energy and Wells Fargo, each of which committed $100,000 to fund prizes. Additional awards for exceptional companies are provided by United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell UOP, McCaffery Interests and ComEd. These sponsored awards recognize advances in biofuels, renewable energy and outstanding female entrepreneurs in cleantech.

Applications will be accepted through January 7, 2014. To learn more or to apply for the Clean Energy Challenge, visit:

The Clean Energy Challenge is a two-track competition designed to connect clean energy startups with the funders, researchers, entrepreneurs and potential customers who can bring their technologies to the marketplace. The Early Stage Challenge is for competitors with developed business plans and for emerging startup companies. The Student Challenge is for student-led cleantech companies.

Finalists in the 2014 Clean Energy Challenge will receive mentoring and training from Clean Energy Trust in preparation for the April 3rd competition in Chicago. The judging panel includes nationally renowned investors, researchers and clean energy business leaders.

The Clean Energy Challenge welcomes applicants from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Find us on Facebook at and Twitter @CleanEnergyTrst and #StartUpNow.

About Clean Energy Trust

Clean Energy Trust was founded by prominent business and civic leaders to fuel 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

Acknowledgement of Support

Clean Energy Trust gratefully acknowledges the following supporters of the Clean Energy Challenge: Abbott Laboratories, American Electric Power, Exelon, Ingersoll Rand, The Joyce Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Midwest Energy Research Consortium, New World Ventures, Nortech, Purdue University, Skadden Arps, True North Venture Partners, University of Michigan, Washington University at St. Louis and Midwest Energy Research Consortium.

Platinum sponsors and prize contributors for the Clean Energy Challenge include: Boeing, ComEd, Invenergy, McCaffery Interests, United Airlines, UOP Honeywell, U.S. Department of Energy, and Wells Fargo.

Aileron Communications
Sheridan Chaney, 312.629.9400


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