Student Energy Innovations Advance in DOE Competition


Berkeley MBA students are on two teams advancing to the regional finals of First Look West (FLoW), a national clean energy business challenge. Their ideas for bringing solar energy into low income homes and more easily finding ways to make buildings energy efficient will go head-to-head with 22 other competitors at USC on May 7.

Tom Spooner, and Jonathan Lim, both MBA 14, are part of BEEMS, an interdisciplinary Berkeley team pitching Building Energy Efficiency Mapping Services. The startup is based on licensing a an indoor mapping technology developed at UC Berkeley and, according to Spooner, "offers a fast, cheap, and effective service to assess energy efficiency opportunities in existing buildings."

David Hirsch, Paul Maa, and Alex Wooten, all MBA 13, make up [Temporary Energy], focused on "making solar as easy as renting furniture." With guidance from solar and energy experts at Berkeley and Haas, the team plans to improve access to solar for low income households by removing such barriers to entry as expensive permitting.

Temporary Energy recently became the first team from Berkeley-Haas to participate in China Europe International Business School’s (CEIBS) Innovate China case competition. Participation offered networking with investors, students, and government officials, as well as a visit to a special economic zone outside of Shanghai to learn about incentives for businesses there.

Berkeley-Haas was also well represented in the 2012 FLoW competition, with Will Greene, MBA 13, and his teammate Will Regan, a Berkeley Physics PhD candidate, winning the $40,000 third prize for Xite Solar, which has developed a new class of solar cells that could make solar a major source of energy production.

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.