Picasolar is a University of Arkansas graduate-level startup which created a technology that improves solar cells. It's made an impressive run through the 2013 cycle of national business-plan competitions. Here's a look at its 2013 accomplishments:
- Won the MIT Clean Energy Prize on May 6 and a total of $250,000 in prize money ($150,000 from MIT, $100,000 from the Department of Energy).
- Won the inaugural Banana Republic Grad Student Challenge through Net Impact and a first prize of $10,000.
- Won the 2013 IBK Capital-Ivey Business Plan Competition and $20,000 at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in January.
- Took third place and won the elevator pitch contest at the Stu Clark Investment Competition, hosted by the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, in March The team won $5,000 for finishing third and $1,000 for winning the elevator pitch contest.
- Won the graduate division and the $25,000 first prize at the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup collegiate business plan competition held in Little Rock in April.
- Finished second and won $2,500 at the annual New Venture Championship hosted by the University of Oregon.
- Though it didn’t place, Picasolar competed in the prestigious Rice University and Venture Lab (University of Texas) competitions. Just qualifying a team for either is considered a win by many schools.
Next up is the Tri-State Governor's Cup in Las Vegas May 20-22. It pits the state winners from DWR Governor's Cup competitions in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Nevada, the three states that made up the primary territory of the old Donrey media empire. Also, thanks to its MIT win, Picasolar will compete in June at a national DOE competition.