UCL has been hailed as a “shining example” for supporting student entrepreneurs by the Guardian in an article about whether universities are doing enough to help students start new businesses.
Dutch team powers to victory in final of 2013 CleanTech Challenge
1 May 2013
A Dutch team with plans for a revolutionary power-generating window has won the 2013 CleanTech Challenge.
The team - Koen Hooning, Gijs Van Vrede and Willem Kesteloo from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands – won with their business Power Window. The idea – a clean electricity producing window – works by combining three technologies to concentrate and refract light to photovoltaic solar panels on the inside edges of the window. The team walked away with a prize of £10,000 in cash.
Crucially, as well as generating electricity the window remains transparent, meaning that whole buildings could potentially be retrofitted with the technology to produce power without significantly reducing the natural light inhabitants already enjoy.
The team faced stiff competition from competitors from across the world that came to London for the final of the Challenge. Competitors included UM-APU, from the University of Michigan, with their Thermbolt system for recovering waste heat from long-haul diesel trucks and stores the energy in a battery pack; Wavetube, with a revolutionary wave-power generating machine; and Shikor from the University of Oxford, with a potentially life-saving arsenic water filter for use in developing countries.
The final comprised two days of intensive business development focusing on the challenge of projecting what each team would do in 100 days with a hypothetical €100,000 in investment. Each team had access to mentors from a variety of different sectors for advice and support, before presenting to a panel of judges at the close of the competition.
“The competition over the two days was intense and the teams really gave it their all when it came to engaging with the final challenge,” said Gups Jagpal, Deputy Director of UCL Advances and one of the team mentors for the final bootcamp of the competition.
“All of the businesses which reached the final were inspirational in the way they were taking cutting edge technology and using it to reduce pollution and improve people’s lives.”
The competition will open again in the autumn for participants to enter the 2014 CleanTech Challenge.