Chicago, January 25, 2011- Entrepreneurship thrives as more than 70 Illinois clean energy businesses enter inaugural competition. Prizes of $130,000 will awarded on March 3, 2011.
The Clean Energy Trust is excited to announce the finalists in the first Clean Energy Challenge. A distinguished panel of independent evaluators selected 10 companies to compete for the $100,000 early-stage business prize, which will be award on March 3, 2011. Five finalists will vie for $30,000 in concept-stage funding. More than 70 applications from across Illinois were submitted for businesses in all aspects of clean energy, from battery usage and solar panels to smart grid technology and biomass development. The strong response, combined with the quality of the companies, resulted in two rounds of evaluations before the final selections were made, according to Amy Francetic, Clean Energy Trust Executive Director. “These were highly competitive applications, showing innovation and entrepreneurship are thriving in Illinois,” Francetic said. “The evaluators were extremely impressed by the quality and originality of the business plans they reviewed and there was a lively debate during the final selections.”