Hailed by judges as a "big idea" with significant implications for the thin film solar industry, Xite Solar took third place in the Department of Energy's First Look West Clean Energy Business Challenge.
Full-time student Will Greene, MBA 13, and Will Regan, a Berkeley Physics PhD candidate, took home the honor and a $40K prize from the western regional finals of the competition, held at Caltech April 30-May1. Xite Solar's technology enables production of high-efficiency, low-cost photovoltaics from a variety of earth-abundant, non-toxic materials.
Green and Regan, who connected last fall as organizers for the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC) Innovation Expo, emerged from an original field of more than 80 teams and 30 finalist teams. "BERC has been a wonderful way to bring together students with an interest in energy from across the UC Berkeley campus.." says Greene. "It plays an instrumental role in facilitating interaction and collaboration among energy students from a diversity of academic backgrounds."
Regan and Greene are going to be assembling a team of five students to participate in the Cleantech to Market class this fall to continue to work on the project.