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Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger and New York State Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul congratulate Shailesh Upreti, center left, of Charge CCCV (C4) for winning $500,000, and William Bernier, center right, of ChromaNanoTech for winning $250,000 in the first round of the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition. The awards ceremony was held at the Rotunda in the Innovative Technologies Complex Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Two Binghamton University startups winners in 76West Clean Energy Competition
November 30, 2016Tweet
On behalf of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced that two Binghamton University startup companies – Charge CCCV and ChromaNanoTech – are among the six winning companies of the 76West Clean Energy Business Competition, one of the largest competitions in the United States to focus exclusively on clean-energy businesses.
76West is focused on growing entrepreneurs in the region and attracting resources from the U.S. and around the world to build clean-energy businesses and jobs in New York state’s Southern Tier. NYSERDA sponsors the competition, which is offering $2.5 million in prize money each year for four years.
Calling the Southern Tier the “epicenter of clean energy in New York state,” Hochul announced that Charge CCCV (Charge C4), a START-UP NY business based at Binghamton University, will receive $500,000 to advance its initiatives. ChromaNanoTech, a Binghamton University homegrown company, will receive $250,000.
Hochul reminded the audience at the awards ceremony at Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex of the region’s history of creativity.
“A lot of work went into getting us to this place,” she said. “The 76West competition started here in the Southern Tier and this is an opportunity for us to showcase to the rest of the world that we haven’t lost that mojo. These people could go anywhere in the country, but the good news is they’re staying here for a resurgence in Upstate New York.”
“We’re making the Southern Tier the clean energy hub of New York state,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “We have a strategy here in the Southern Tier called Southern Tier Soaring and 76West complements this strategy of fostering economic development; expanding entrepreneurship; and supporting technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce loads on the electric grid at key times and provide energy storage options.”
Charge CCCV (C4V) produces energy storage batteries that can be used for telecommunications systems and other industries that need storage with longer lifetimes so they reduce overall cost.
ChromaNanoTech produces a dye that keeps windows transparent but blocks ultraviolet radiation, so buildings stay cooler and air conditioning loads are reduced.
“These funds will allow us to purchase equipment for scaling up our processes and bringing on new staff,” said Bill Bernier, ChromaNanoTech CEO. “We have a reactor vessel designed and are planning to use some of the award funds to purchase it. We have other things in the works, but this award is key to our plan.”
The winners for this first round of 76West awards were selected from 175 entries from 23 states and around world. With the aid of 33 judges, entrants were whittled down to 24 semifinalists before reaching the final six companies that vied for the $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, $2.5 million was awarded this year. Micatu, a company based in Horseheads, N.Y. that produces optical sensors, won the $1 million prize. Two companies out of New York City and one out of Troy, N.Y., were $250,000 winners. Round two of the competition kicks off immediately.
Criteria for the awards include clean energy impact, solving an important problem that customers would pay to address, business model viability, technical viability, Southern Tier job creation, and management and technical team.
The 76West competition supports Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy by fostering cleantech economic development and leadership, and expanding innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier, which has a robust environment to support clean-energy companies.
“It’s thrilling that what we’re all about is clean energy and innovation,” said David Margalit, NYSERDA COO. “76West is where the rubber meets the road on both of these. This is also about the Southern Tier and tapping into its vitality and energy.”