Chapman University is set to receive federal funds from the Department of Energy (DOE) that will finance a clean energy entrepreneurship business plan competition. The DOE set up a $2 million grant that was divided into six regions across the U.S. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which is based in Pasadena, California, was the recipient of the Western region’s portion of the grant. Caltech will manage the funds, which will be split among an association that includes USC, UCLA, UC San Diego, OnGreen Inc. and Caltech.
“Clean technology is rapidly growing in Southern California, and the universities in this consortium are well positioned to facilitate this competition,” said Richard Sudek, director of the university’s entrepreneurship center and manager of the funds. “We are thrilled to be a part of this consortium representing the Western Region.”
The DOE designed the grant to help universities create a network of student-driven business competitions, which they hope will encourage young entrepreneurs into clean energy start-ups. Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics has created a business plan competition with a $100,000 prize that will feed into the DOE competition.
Chapman’s Schmid College of Science and Technology will also participate in the project. Menas Kafatos, dean of the science and technology college, said the school views energy related issues of high importance for both a healthy economy and the environment.
“Our industry relations and focus of technology solutions seek to tie together the energy, the economy and the environment,” said Kafatos. “As such, opportunities for working together to advance Chapman’s goals abound for both the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics, and the Schmid College of Science and Technology, promoting projects with both the DOE and the clean tech industry in Orange County.”
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