The Aelios Technology team, comprising ECE doctoral students Shreyas Bhaban and Sourav Patel, and mechanical engineering doctoral student Saurav Talukdar, and Carlson MBA student Atul Fotedar, were one of two startup companies named runners-up in the 2018 Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) Midwest Showcase. Bagging the runner-up position gives the team the opportunity to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Cleantech UP national level competition to be held in Washington, D.C. in June.
Supported and advised by ECE’s Prof. Murti Salapaka, Prof. Carla Pavone from the Carlson School of Management (CSOM), and MGMT 5102 (a course offered by CSOM on testing a business concept and the market for it), Aelios Technology have developed a device called iPlugD, Intelligent Plug for Devices. The device can lessen the adverse effects of unreliable power supply in developing nations, especially in the healthcare field. An intelligent switch, it is designed to redirect power from non-critical to critical devices in the event of a power outage, or unreliable power supply, and thereby reduce the adverse impact on healthcare services, and even prevent the loss of lives.
Cleantech UP was established by the U.S. Department of Energy to “inspire and equip the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities.” The Midwest Showcase titled Switched On: Student Innovations in Cleantech, saw teams from eight universities across the midwest present their cleantech business innovations. Cleantech Hub, a national level center for the support of student led clean energy business ideas, will coordinate the national competition which awards $100,000 in prizes.
Recently, Aelios Technology also took first place in the University’s Acara Challenge, in the graduate division. Hosted and facilitated by the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, the Acara Challenge is an entrepreneurship competition that recognizes students who develop solutions to some of the most acute challenges currently facing the world.
The team has showcased their technology at other business plan competitions too. They are final round contenders at the First Look West (FLOW) competition organized by the Resnick Institute at Caltech. They were also one of the finalists in the Energy for Developing Economies track at the MIT Clean Energy Prize and were considered one of “17 of the world’s most promising clean energy ventures”.
Read more about the Acara Challenge and other winners of the challenge
More information about the Cleantech UP competition