Graduate students working on green startup business ideas should take note of an opportunity at the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition (TVLIC) at the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Wells Fargo Clean Technology Prize is a special prize of $5,000 awarded to the best startup focused on improving energy efficiency, innovating energy delivery and offering energy from alternative fuels for both residential and commercial energy sectors..
“This partnership with Wells Fargo is ideal due to its commitment to renewable energy and entrepreneurial endeavors in this rapidly growing sector,” said Rob Adams, VLIC director. “Wells Fargo is a leader in clean energy and their reach and abilities are of real value to the companies raising money through the Venture Labs process.”
In 2016, the competition became a biannual event for University of Texas at Austin graduate students only. The winner of the Spring 2016 TVLIC Wells Fargo Clean Technology Award was Texas Guadaloop. Texas Guadaloop is partnering with SpaceX to make the Hyperloop a reality. Texas Guadaloop is a team of 40+ undergraduate and graduate students ranging from computer scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers to business students - all working together to build a full-scale model of the Hyperloop system.
The Fall 2016 winner was Bright Volume. Bright Volume is a building technology company that provides an environmentally friendly and efficient building, design and construction solution for airplane hangars. The end result is a product engineered to be as durable as comparable prefabricated steel buildings at 30% less than traditional methods.
Aerox from Thammasat University in Thailand was named the 2015 Wells Fargo Clean Technology winner. Aerox manufactures A-Shield Silica Aerogel, a NASA-grade insulation additive, but at only 10% the cost. Their revolutionary price point opens up a wide array of opportunities in building materials such as paint, gypsum and insulation board. A-Shield has great insulation properties, environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, non-flammable, water-proof and applicable to various applications.
RediGen, who was also the first runner up for the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, won the $20,000 Wells Fargo Clean Energy prize at the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition. RediGen, founded by graduate students from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, produces a plastic made of 100% recycled materials, predominantly composed of used tire and recycled plastic, which is more cost-effective and eco-friendly than competitors.
Seismos, who won the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition in February, won the $20,000 Wells Fargo Clean Energy prize at the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition in 2013. Seismos, founded by graduate students from the Master’s of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) program at The McCombs School of Business, provides real-time measurements of oil and gas flows for enhanced oil recovery.