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Caltech's Resnick Sustainability Institute and Draper University Launch Transformational Idea Award

Pre-commercial innovators win cash prize and scholarship

SAN MATEO and PASADENA, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Draper University and the Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are partnering to create a Transformational Idea Award within the First Look West (FLoW) business plan competition. This will be open to all U.S. university students who enter the FLoW competition. The Award includes a $5,000 cash prize, and full scholarship for the winning team to attend Draper University's eight-week entrepreneurial program in Silicon Valley.

The partnership between Draper University and the Resnick Sustainability Institute will accelerate the movement of leading edge technologies out of the lab and into the marketplace, champion a nation-wide energy entrepreneurship ecosystem, and develop entrepreneurial leaders within American universities.

The Transformational Idea Award rewards students with game-changing technologies still in pre-commercial development. Team leaders must also present clearly articulated visions of how to create a new business with a large potential impact. The winners will use the Draper University program and FLoW process to understand better the entrepreneurial process, and to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

"Draper University is proud to be working with Caltech on this competition," says Tim Draper, founder of venture capital firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper University. "We hope to see some real game changers as people create businesses to disrupt the energy world."

"The Resnick Sustainability Institute fosters creative thinking at the highest level," says Professor Harry Atwater, Director. "Draper University offers another opportunity for young innovators to explore how their ideas can impact society."

FLoW, a consortium led by the Resnick Sustainability Institute, and funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), accelerates cleantech innovation, and fosters student entrepreneurship through a Western Regional business plan competition FLoW is part of the DOE's $2 million National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition for university students, and has emerged as the largest business plan competition of its kind in the west.

FLoW offers $150,000+ in prize money, face time with investors, and legal support packages for starting companies. The winner of the FLoW Regional Finals, which will be held at University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, on May 7, 2013, will then contend at the National DOE Competition in Washington D.C. in June 2013.

Founded by venture capitalist Tim Draper, Draper University is an unconventional boarding school for young entrepreneurs from around the world. A cross between a school and a live-in accelerator, the program is designed to inspire creativity, innovation, leadership and teamwork. The 8-week program culminates with students pitching their companies created under the guidance of mentors recruited for the university to Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

For further information contact:

Draper University


Carol Lo

Stephanie C. Yanchinski

Chief Operating Officer

Executive Director

Tel. 650-347-3224

Tel. 626-395-1968 (office)

626-818-5092 (cp)

SOURCE USC Stevens Institute for Innovation

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