Student startup Amanzi Solar won first place and a check for $5,000 in the Ideas Track of the Ideas to Serve (I2S) Competition on April 19, 2017. The Competition, which is organized by the Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Scheller College of Business, aims to foster ideas that improve the human condition by solving societal or environmental problems. I2S supports student projects through mentoring, advice from and access to local social entrepreneurs and investors, and prize money.
The Amanzi Solar team includes computer engineering major Alex Simoneaux, electrical engineering major Jake Smith, materials science and engineering doctoral student Matt Smith, and mechanical engineering doctoral student Luke Yates. The group created their startup focused on maximizing solar panel performance last semester and has been participating in the CREATE-X program Ideas to Prototype (I2P) this semester. Their product is a patent-pending thermal management system for solar panels which can provide a net power increase of 15%. Using a liquid cooling system to manage the temperature of panels also enables the system to clean the panels, thereby reducing maintenance costs. The group currently has three functioning prototype systems and will use the prize money for further developments.
“Being a part of the Ideas to Serve program has been extremely helpful for us as we start the customer discovery process. At the final event, we received great feedback from judges on possible directions to take as we work to refine our product. It was great to network with like-minded groups working to create change in important areas and we are inspired to continue working towards commercializing our product,” said Jake Smith.
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Last revised August 1, 2017