Northwestern-born startups score half of available funding at Clean Energy Challenge

Written by Doug Pitorak
Published on Apr. 15, 2015
Northwestern-born startups score half of available funding at Clean Energy Challenge


Two Northwestern University-born cleantech startups walked away from yesterday’s Clean Energy Challenge with half of the $1 million made available for funding.

AMPY, an Evanston-based startup that creates a wearable device designed to track one’s kinetic energy in order to recharge his or her smartphone and other USB-powered devices, scored $200,000. Likewise, NuMat Technologies, a Skokie-based startup with technology that limits the need to highly compress gases, netted $300,000.

"To us, the award represents the recognition and support of the broader clean energy community in Chicago. It's a great feeling, but comes with the understanding that we need to deliver on our technology," Patrick Fuller, lead technologist at NuMat Technologies, said in an email. "The funding will provide us with the resources we need to design, manufacture, and validate prototype systems to be used in the capture of environmentally hazardous gases."

As we reported last Friday, the event, held at Venue SIX10, is put on by the Clean Energy Trust, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that seeks to foster cleantech innovation in the Midwest through startup investment, technology commercialization, and energy policy.

The $1 million set aside for possible investment in the 14 participating startups was the largest amount in the event’s five-year history. AMPY entered the event as a startup successfully-funded by Kickstarter, surpassing its goal of $100,000 in October of last year.

Tejas Shastry, CEO and co-founder of AMPY, said his six-member team appreciates the validation the award lends. Furthermore, he said the funding will help AMPY realize its vision for growth. 

“The funding will help us scale over the next few months in two ways: in an expanding our team, which will allows us to further our vision of taking our technology and integrating it directly into wearable devices and other devices on the market," he said. "And second, it will help us with scaling our production of AMPY and being able to make more and ship more out as we get into the back to school and holiday season this fall."

Have a tip for us or want to share news about your company? Email us via [email protected].

Hiring Now
Citadel Securities
Fintech • Information Technology • Software • Financial Services