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Clean Energy Challenge Offers $250,000 in Prizes

Clean Energy Challenge Offers $250,000 in PrizesThe Clean Energy Trust is reviewing more than 100 applications submitted for the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge business competition. The Challenge seeks the best business ideas in the Midwest with the potential to bring new clean energy technology to the marketplace.

Applications closed this week for the second annual competition. Submissions for the $100,000 early-stage business prize, and the $100,000 Student Challenge prize, encompassed numerous areas of clean energy technology, including energy management systems, wind and solar energy innovations, automotive technologies, battery advancements, biomass and clean energy financing.

“This year we expanded the Challenge to encompass the entire Midwest region and are pleased to have received applications from students and early-stage businesses in all eight states,” said Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust executive director. “The response, and increase in early-stage applications, really shows the depth of talent working across the region and the number of Midwest clean energy companies that are poised to emerge in the marketplace. Our partners across the region did a fantastic job of promoting the Challenge to their students and companies.”

Challenge applicants come from Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin and work at every level of clean energy innovation. Start-up companies, university professors, students and independent entrepreneurs submitted plans they believe can become sustainable clean energy businesses.

An independent panel of evaluators will score submissions from each state and will provide a list of finalists to the Trust in mid-December. Finalists will present their plans to a judging panel of nationally renowned investors and business leaders in the clean energy sector March 1 at the Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago.

The U.S. Department of Energy provided funding for both the student and early-stage competitions. The winner of the Student Challenge will compete in Washington at the DOE national competition.

About the 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 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Small Business Administration and donations from over 50 investors, corporations, universities and trade groups. For more information, visit .

SOURCE: Clean Energy Trust

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