McCORMICK NEWS

Northwestern Startup MeterGenius Wins $10,000 in Clean Energy Contest

All four finalists in state competition were Northwestern students startups; MeterGenius to advance to regional level

MeterGenius, a startup company created in Northwestern University’s NUvention: Energy entrepreneurship course, has won first place in the Illinois Clean Energy Student Challenge 2014, a business competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust.

Using an innovative software platform, MeterGenius allows residential consumers to view their electricity consumption data, set an energy budget, and earn rewards for saving energy.

In addition to a $10,000 cash prize, the win grants MeterGenius a place in the Midwest Regional Clean Energy Challenge, to be held April 3 in Chicago. MeterGenius will compete against other Midwest state-level winners, presenting to a panel of investors and industry experts for a chance to compete against other regional-level winners this summer in the National Clean Energy Business Competition. Northwestern teams have taken first place at the national-level competition in each of the last two years.

MeterGenius won the state competition from a field of four finalists, all from Northwestern.

Second place went to MyPower, a startup developed last year in NUvention: Energy that creates kinetic-energy devices that runners can use to harness their energy and power smartphones. Other finalists were GreenSOCs, developer of solid oxide fuel cells with the capability to consume and generate hydrocarbon fuels; and Share-a-Transport Logistics, which provides a solution for maximizing companies’ transportation efficiency.

MeterGenius members are Yan Man, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at McCormick; Fred Thwaites, who received his BS/MS in mechanical engineering from McCormick last year; Hillary Hass of Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and Ty Benefiel of the Kellogg School of Management. McCormick PhD student Yves Xie later joined the team as a software engineer.

The Illinois Student Challenge is a state-level business competition for university students. The program seeks to accelerate the commercialization of clean technology research and development from the region's leading universities and national labs, and to educate first-time entrepreneurs about the process of technology commercialization.

NUvention: Energy is offered annually by Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at McCormick and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). In the course, interdisciplinary teams of student from across the University develop commercialization plans for early-stage energy products, technologies, or services. 

MeterGenius has also received startup funding from ISEN.