76 West opens next round of competition for clean energy companies

76 West opens next round of competition for clean energy companies

The 76West Clean Energy Competition has launched another round, accepting applications from “emerging clean energy companies” that are willing to relocate to or expand connections with the Southern Tier in exchange for a prize of up to $1 million.

Applications will be accepted through March 2, and 20 finalists will be brought to the Southern Tier in the spring for mentoring, and compete in June at a business pitch competition. Four winners are to be announced in the fall. One of the four will win $1 million and three others will get $500,000 each. Fewer winners will be picked this year so the size of the prizes can be increased.

The competition began in 2016 as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, but its success in generating jobs and economic activity in the Southern Tier has resulted in another $20 million in funding to run the competition for another four years.

“The 76West competition is not only creating jobs and economic development in the Southern Tier, it is building excitement within the entrepreneurial ecosystem that New York is the place to be for innovation” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which leads the competition. “As more extreme weather events wreak havoc on New York, Governor Cuomo’s commitment to supporting clean energy solutions, such as those developed by 76West winners, is vital to helping communities throughout the state and beyond become more resilient.”

Some previous winners include East Rochester’s EkoStinger, which makes attachments to tractor-trailer trucks that improve their aerodynamics and reduce energy consumption. With five months of being award $1 million in 2018, EkoStinger opened a new plant in Horseheads.

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