Skip to Content

2013 National Competition

On June 12, 2013, SiNode Systems from Northwestern University was announced as the winner of the second annual DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. SiNode Systems has developed an advanced anode technology that has the potential to dramatically increase the performance of batteries, impacting everything from the cell phones and portable electronics our society relies on, to expanding the capabilities of electric vehicles. SiNode’s lithium battery anode technology addresses the two aspects of battery improvement, energy capacity and power density.

SiNode Systems’ Si-graphene composite anode provides up to a ten-fold increase in energy capacity compared to the conventional graphite anode, and can increase energy capacity of a complete battery assembly by 50 percent to 100 percent. Their technology will impact the SiNode’s strong business plan and technology, stellar team, and their commitment to their team. SiNode is also a testament to the spirit of entrepreneurship. The team participated in two business plan competitions last year, and when they did not place in the finals, they re-committed themselves to their work, secured a DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant to advance their technology, and this year they swept the Rice Business Plan Competition, winning more than $800,000 in prizes, advanced to the National Competition and were crowned the national winner.

As the winning team, SiNode Systems was awarded more than $100,000 in cash and services. These prizes include seed money for their business plan and additional prizes from sponsors including technical, marketing, and legal assistance. 

Additionally, BioAdhesive Alliance, Inc. from North Carolina A&T won the People’s Choice Award and will be featured on Scientific American’s site.  

The second annual NCEBPC took place in Washington, D.C. June 11-12th. A public day was held on June 12th on the George Washington University campus in Washington, DC.

The Department of Energy congratulates all of its regional winners and runner-up teams, and all of the teams that participated across the country in this year’s competition.

For more information about this year’s regional finalists and runner-up teams, please find descriptions of the teams below:

Visit our blog for the latest.

The U.S. Department of Energy's NCEBPC is part of the White House's Startup America Initiative to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Importantly, this competition embodies the Energy Department's commitment to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in clean energy technology.

By bringing together venture capitalists, thought leaders from the energy industry and government, and the nation's most promising young minds, the competition connects these student-led teams with the resources and expertise their startups need to succeed.

2012 National Competition Event

On June 13, 2012, NuMat Technologies from Northwestern University was announced as the grand prize winner of the Energy Department's inaugural National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition for their plan to commercialize a nanomaterial that stores gases at lower pressures, effectively increasing design flexibility and reducing infrastructure costs. NuMat Technologies won $100,000 in prize money, as well as legal, financial, technical, and commercialization assistance that was custom-tailored to their business.

From nearly 300 student-based teams from across the country, six finalist teams from the regional competitions (one finalist team from each region) pitched their business plans to a panel of expert judges at the National Competition Event. The teams were judged on clean energy impact, solution creativity, execution and financial strategy, market and customer knowledge, and team composition, chemistry and commitment.

SolidEnergy Systems, with their battery technology innovation, was announced as runner-up to NuMat, and Navillum Nanotechnologies was voted as the fan favorite. Learn more about the other 2012 finalist and runner-up teams by visiting the links below: