I recently had a unique opportunity to take part in efforts to help clean energy business startups in New York's Southern Tier Region as one of the finalist judges for the 2017 76West competition.
76West is a competition focused on growing entrepreneurs 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 region. Each year for four years, 76West will award $2.5 million in prize money to six finalists as follows: one grand prize of $1 million, payable in increments based on specific milestone accomplishments, one $500,000 prize, and four $250,000 awards.
Each of the 8 finalist teams made an 8 minute pitch to the judges and we were given 8 minutes of time to ask questions of the teams. The businesses and startups spanned a wide variety of clean-energy technologies including solar, wastewater treatment, combined heat and power and more.
For those who have seen the show, it was kind of like being on a live episode of Shark Tank! I was really impressed with the quality of the pitches, the thought and work that the entrepreneurs had put into their clean energy ideas, and the various ways each proposal would have benefited the Southern Tier region of New York!
The opportunity to be a judge and represent the eastern edge of the Southern Tier was a real honor. I look forward to taking part in the announcement of awards later this summer!
From more information about 76West and other NYSERDA programs, visit the 76West webpage.