The US Department of Energy has awarded $50,000 in prize money to 3 students at Rutgers for the funding of a new business based around a new wind energy device designed by one of the students, according to a new press release.
The funding award was the result of the students’ entry into a Department of Energy sponsored business pitch competition. The 3 students in question — David Talarico, Ryan Annibali, and Antoni Milewski — are also now slated to take part in an upcoming national competition in June, as a result of their win.
The press release provides more:
The winning technology is something Talarico, a doctoral mechanical engineering student, has been working on for six years. He originally came up with the idea for his senior project when he was an undergraduate.
The development of the device might have continued as a past-time if Talarico hadn’t signed up for the Collaborative for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, a new course focused on taking new technologies to market. In the course, Talarico was teamed up with Annibali and Milewski, who are both part-time Rutgers MBA students.
…As part of the class, Annibali, Milewski and Talarico were given a variety of technologies to systematically evaluate for their market potential. In the course of doing that, Talarico decided to add his patent-pending wind-harvesting technology to the mix. Ultimately, the students selected Talarico’s idea for their class project, which required them to form a start-up business around the wind-harnessing device.
…At the center of the team’s business plan is a 15-foot sail that moves back and forth on a track harvesting wind that is converted into energy. A 17-story office building equipped with 18 of their devices would generate enough power to supply 100% of the building’s energy needs. One of the benefits of the roof-top turbine is its price: about half the upfront cost of a solar array of the same capacity.
Talarico noted when speaking about the work done during the course: “It was a validation that I hadn’t been wasting my time.”
Annibali commented as well: “It was a place to really test our abilities and concepts.”