Cleantech to Market Students to Show Off Projects
April 18, 2011
A battery that may help integrate renewable energy on the electric grid. A lower-cost means of capturing carbon from coal. A way to generate hydrogen from untreated surface waters.
These are among the projects that students in the Cleantech to Market (C2M) class will showcase at the second annual C2M Presentations and Reception from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 6 at Banatao Auditorium in Sutardja Dai Hall on the north side of campus.
Thirteen interdisciplinary student teams will present market assessments of new clean energy inventions from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley, developed as part of the C2M course. The C2M course was designed by the Energy Institute at Haas to help commercialize new energy breakthroughs. More than 150 people, including students, faculty, researchers, corporate executives, scientists, and venture capitalists, are expected to attend.
“In many cases this is science the world has never seen before,” says Beverly Alexander, director of the Cleantech to Market Program. “What we do is provide a market view of that science, which then helps everybody develop it to the next level. It might go back to the lab, large corporations may come in and license it, or it could go the venture-capital route.”
The four-member teams that worked on the projects are drawn from Berkeley MBA students and graduate students in engineering, science, law, and energy programs.
“We have highly skilled graduate students who are handpicked to match their expertise with each project. It’s very surgical,” Alexander says. The program also brings in mentors -- from such places as PG&E, Goldman Sachs, Dow, Siemens, Wilson Sonsini, Mohr Davidow Ventures, RockPort Capital, and Claremont Creek Ventures -- as guest speakers and to guide the students.
C2M was originally conceived as an extracurricular project by the Berkeley Lab and students in the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative, or BERC, a multidisciplinary student organization, and became a class in 2010. The course is among several that satisfy the Haas School's new experiential learning requirement developed as part of the innovative leader curriculum in order to give students practice in solving real-world business problems.