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SiNode Systems Wins Grand Prize in Rice Business Plan Competition
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April 19, 2013

SiNode Systems Wins Grand Prize in Rice Business Plan Competition

By Mini Swamy
TMCnet Contributor

Energy storage presents a technological challenge in a world where performance and cost of batteries have been bottlenecks in the field of consumer electronics and electronic vehicles. But, apparently SiNode, a cleantech startup from Northwestern University, has circumvented these with its cost comparable lithium-ion batteries that afford increases in energy capacity, faster charging and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

Its efforts came to fruition when SiNode Systems won the grand prize win at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition. The Clean Energy (News - Alert) Trust, founded to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation in the Midwest, congratulated SiNode Systems on its achievement.

By winning the grand prize in the Rice Business Plan Competition, which is Rice University's flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship, SiNode Systems placed itself in a position to receive funding to successfully commercialize its lithium-ion battery.

This was evident when the company won the competition's grand prize of to $350,000, given by the Goose Society of Texas, a Houston-based investment group, and also $100,000 from OWL investors. In fact, SiNode Systems took off from where it left in 2012, when it was declared a finalist at the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge.

“This is the second year in a row that the winner of the nation’s largest business plan competition has been a clean energy company developed in the nation’s heartland and nurtured by the Clean Energy Trust,” said Amy Francetic, CEO at Clean Energy Trust (CET).

SiNode Systems competed against 42 teams and presented its business to 300 judges. The company, which is commercializing an anode for lithium-ion batteries, is seeking the extra funding so that the company can buy equipment that would enable it to maximize processing efficiency of the batteries and accelerate time-to-market.

CET provides finalists in the Clean Energy Challenge with training and mentoring from business leaders, clean energy experts and entrepreneurs and also offers business development support to clean energy start-ups to advance commercialization of clean energy technology.

”SiNode’s success further validates the Midwest as the leading center for clean technology development and proves that the work of business accelerators like CET is helping to change America’s energy and economic future,” said Francetic.

NuMat Technologies, the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge student winner, won the grand prize at the 2012 Rice Competition and is currently developing customized nano-materials for gas storage and separations.

In the more than 10 years that the Rice Business Plan Competition has been in existence, a large percentage of past teams have gone on to form successful business ventures.

Edited by Ashley Caputo

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