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Attention Students: Win $100,000 for Your Clean Energy Technology Business Idea!

Entries Accepted from All Universities in the Southeastern United States

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge, a U.S. Department of Energy-supported business innovation competition dedicated to helping students develop and commercialize new clean energy technologies, is accepting entries.

Open to students throughout the Southeastern United States, the ACC Clean Energy Challenge features a $100,000 grand prize, with the winner advancing and representing the southeast region in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington, D.C., in summer 2013.

The ACC Clean Energy Challenge invites participation by student teams developing commercially promising renewable energies, energy efficiency improvements, and advanced fuels/vehicles. Teams must be comprised of at least 50 percent student members.

Initial entries, consisting of an executive summary and video pitch, are due March 1, 2013. Selected semi-finalists will be invited to compete in the ACC Clean Energy Challenge Finals Competition, held April 8-9, 2013, at North Carolina State University. The ACC Clean Energy Challenge Finals Competition is co-hosted by North Carolina State University, Duke University, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.

In last year's inaugural competition at the University of Maryland, Mesdi Systems Inc., a company founded by students from the University of Central Florida developing precision electrospray modules to accelerate and improve the production of lithium-ion battery components, won the $100,000 grand prize.  Mesdi Systems emerged as the champion out of a "Final Four" field that included the University of Maryland, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and the University of Central Florida, after which the company went on to represent the region at the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals at the White House in Washington, D.C.  The University of Maryland team, SafeLiCell, which is developing a noncombustible, flexible, polymer electrolyte material called Lithium Flex that could replace the highly flammable liquid electrolyte and bulky battery packaging found in most lithium-ion batteries, garnered second place.

As part of the Obama Administration's effort to support and empower the next generation of American clean energy entrepreneurs, the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy awarded $360,000 to the University of Maryland for the ACC Clean Energy Challenge and a total of $2 million to the ACC and five additional regions in the U.S. as part of its nationwide network of student-focused clean energy business plan competitions.

Additional regional winners included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Northeast Region; the California Institute of Technology in the Western Region; Rice University in the Western Southwest Region; Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust in the Eastern Midwest Region; and the University of Colorado in the Western Midwest Region.

Interested students can find more information and enter at: www.accnrg.org.

SOURCE University of Maryland

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