Illinois: EERE-Sponsored Clean Energy Competition Launches 2012 a Competitor’s Success, Company Receives Investment from New Funding Opportunity

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Competitor in EERE's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition receives funds from Illinois' Energy Foundry. Company employee is recognized by Forbes Magazine as Energy 30 under 30.
Location: Illinois
Partners: Root3 Technologies, Inc.

Root3 Technologies, Inc., a participant in the 2012 National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition as a semi-finalist in the 2012 Clean Energy Trust Clean Energy Challenge, was announced as the first investment of a new Illinois funding opportunity—the Energy Foundry. Energy Foundry is the early stage investment fund created by the Illinois smart grid law. Root3 Technologies provides hosted software as a service solution that reduces energy costs 10%–30% in onsite energy plants for universities, hospitals, airports, and military bases. Prior to receiving funding from the Energy Foundry, the company was invited to participate in an accelerator program hosted by GreenStart, a Silicon Valley venture firm and design studio. In addition to Energy Foundry, a consortium of investors came together to support the company, including local investors Manisota Capital & Huron River Ventures, as well as two well-regarded California-based funds, Claremont Creek and Mohr Davidow. 

DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition, which launched in 2012 as part of the Obama Administration’s Startup America Initiative, is designed to inspire entrepreneurship through student-focused business creation. Students are able to network and compete through six EERE-funded regional competitions, leading up to the final national competition—where regional winners compete for the grand prize. In its inaugural year, more than 300 teams participated from across the country to compete for more than $700,000 in cash prizes. Since the national competition in June 2012, last year’s competitors have raised more than $4 million in follow-on funding, incorporated more than 52 startups, and created more than 42 new jobs. Several of the regional winners are rapidly scaling up, helping to accelerate clean technology startups and create green jobs.

The Office of Strategic Programs helps EERE promote the development, commercialization, and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The office informs EERE corporate decisions and support program implementation through analysis, coordination, collaboration, and communication functions that crosscut EERE programs.

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