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WMU students awarded $10,000 in Clean Energy Challenge

An app designed to change the way people use electrical power and another that tracks excess electronic equipment in academic and commercial settings created by two respective teams of students from Western Michigan University received acclaim at the recent Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge.
 
The WMU teams won $10,000 toward the implementation of their ideas.
 
In the competition, students Nick Kossick of Troy, Chelsey Rhodes of Paw Paw, and Matt Rumora of Portage focused on changing behaviors toward using power through psychological, visual and sound cues delivered via an iPhone and iPad app. They won the Most Disruptive Technology category in the challenge for PowerSlim. The team received a microgrant of $3,000.
 
In the Best App category, Dan Gower of Pontiac, Jim Burns of White Pigeon, and Andrew Schutz of Howell, were recognized. Their app solution, Reuse-e, tracks excess electronic equipment in academic and commercial settings. It has the ability to provide an application programming interface to give real-time salvage value and also provide end-of-life tracking to control liability issues. Their team received a microgrant of $3,000.
 
Andrew Gabrielson of Girbraltar, Mich., and Moh'd Khair Riy Albattikhi, an international student from Jordan, also received a grant for their project e-rescue. It is intended to help recover electronics that that have been disposed of in Africa. The team received a microgrant of $2,000.

And a fourth team, Bio-solids was awarded $2,000.
 
The fifth annual competition was organized by the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship. Semifinalist and finalist judging took place in February. 
 
The competition provides funding to dozens of student and faculty-led teams with innovative, renewable energy ideas. The challenge enables teams to go from idea to venture launch during a six-month program.
 
 "We learned a lot about real world challenges of starting a business." Rhodes says. "We competed with top students and, though we did not come away with the overall team win, we definitely proved that WMU can compete with the best. I think we made Western proud."
 
Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Mark Schwerin, Western Michigan University
 

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