Cornell Tech Runway Program postdoc wins $250,000

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Melissa Osgood

Stephen Schweitzer/Provided
Tomer Morad, CEO of New York City-based DatArcs.

Six companies will use $2.5 million in 76West prize money to help build the clean energy economy in the Southern Tier. Finalists from the first year of the clean energy business planning competition include Tomer Morad, a participant in the Runway Startup Postdoc Program at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute of Cornell Tech in New York City, where recent Ph.D.s receive funding and mentoring to launch tech companies based on their academic research.

Morad, CEO of New York City-based DatArcs, which makes software that boosts the energy efficiency and performance, said of the competition: “The mentoring we received during the various phases of the competition was invaluable; it helped us sharpen our message and story, which had a big impact on our business well outside the scope of the competition itself.”

Funded by New York state, 76West is one of the largest clean-energy business plan competitions in the nation and is designed to advance clean energy technologies and further develop a clean energy ecosystem in the Southern Tier. 76West is also focused on economic development, which includes job creation in the Southern Tier.

Cornell, as lead administrator in the Southern Tier Startup Alliance (STSA), manages the 76West program in coordination with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Winning companies have a proven technology or innovation that advances energy efficiency, renewable energy or decreases nonrenewable energy use.

2016 finalists:

  • Micatu – Top prize, $1 million winner. Develops optical sensor technologies with next-generation measurement capabilities for smart grid, wind, power, transmission and condition-monitoring applications.
  • Charge CCCV (C4V) – 2nd place, $500,000 winner. Produces lithium ion batteries employing a technology that eliminates a common internal corrosion issue, resulting in batteries that have long lifetimes and greater inherent safety.
  • ChromaNanoTech – $250,000 winner. Produces optical nanomaterials that make windows transparent in the visible light range, while absorbing invisible infrared and ultraviolet radiation, thus reducing air-conditioning loads in buildings.
  • DatArcs – $250,000 winner. Provides server software that dynamically tunes hundreds of systems to improve server performance while reducing the energy consumption of data centers.
  • BessTech – $250,000 winner. Specializes in electrode design and engineering. The company manufactures silicon-based electrodes that make batteries more energetic, cheaper, faster charging and environmentally friendly.
  • Global Thermostat – $250,000 winner. Makes a system that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and purifies it to serve the $60 billion market for liquid carbon dioxide as an industrial gas for manufacturing and food production.

“Our goal is to create a regional community of clean energy businesses, through providing support to existing companies and attracting new companies to the Southern Tier,” said 76West and STSA administrator Brian Bauer.

Applications from New York state, national and international companies will be accepted through March 13.

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