501Carbon represents Duke in ACC Clean Energy Challenge

Posted On:

Monday, Mar 17, 2014 - 5:11 pm

A Duke University team of student-entrepreneurs will promote their business idea – a social marketing platform to encourage renewable energy investment – as semi-finalists in the $100,000 ACC Clean Energy Challenge.

501Carbon was selected to represent Duke in the business plan competition supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The competition encourages students from universities in the southeastern United States to develop business plans for new clean energy companies.

501Carbon advanced to the competition’s Elite Eight Plus Two round, with nine winners from Atlantic Coast Conference schools and one from an at-large, non-ACC pool of entrants.

The teams must successfully present their business plan to a panel of judges who will select the competition’s Final Four, then name the grand prize-winner at the ACC Clean Energy Challenge Finals, to be held at the University of Maryland on March 26. The $100,000 winner will compete this summer in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals in Washington.

501Carbon developed a social marketing platform called “The Climate Golden Rule,” in which businesses can reward renewable energy investors with rebates, discounts and price deductions on products and services.

The members of 501Carbon are:

  • Andrew Scott Joiner, Masters of Environmental Management candidate, Nicholas School of the Environment, 2014.
  • Adrien Comte, Masters of Environmental Management candidate, Nicholas School of the Environment, 2014.
  • Hasan Anwer, Masters of Public Policy candidate, Sanford School of Public Policy, 2014.

The Energy Initiative supports Duke's representative in the ACC Challenge financially and with mentoring by David Doctor, the Initiative's director for engagement and administration.

Other competitors named to the semi-final round on March 13 include Clemson University’s Brewcovery, whose business model calls for using food industry and brewery waste to help produce biofuels, fertilizers and animal feed; North Carolina State University’s GreenT, which proposes a cost-effective wind-thermal system for homes and small businesses that is light and manageable enough for homeowners to install and manage; and the University of Maryland’s Mulciber Stoves, which is developing a high-efficiency, low-emission wood stove that dramatically improves customer ease-of-use through a smart controller technology.

The ACC Clean Energy Challenge was created in 2011 from an Energy Department grant given to schools in six U.S. regions for student-focused clean energy business plan competitions.

Last year, Duke was represented in the competition by Refrackt, who pitched a new solution to water safety issues posed by hydraulic fracturing. In the competition hosted by N.C. State, Refrackt reached the Final Four but the grand prize went to N.C. A&T University’s Bio-Adhesive Alliance, which developed “PiGrid,” an adhesive that uses pig waste as a substitute to petroleum-based asphalt binder.