A small group of Wayne State University PhD candidates won the top prize at the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge with their energy-harvesting start-up, Piezo PowerTech.
"It's really a good platform (the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge
) for us," says Yating Hu, co-founder of Piezo PowerTech. "It's a great opportunity to get more people to find out about us."
Piezo PowerTech is developing a device that can generate electricity from vibrations, which is mechanical energy that would otherwise be wasted. The technology could be used in a number of different industries, but Piezo PowerTech is focusing on tire pressure sensors to start.
"Energy harvesting is a very new field, an emerging field," Hu says. "Some people have compared it to personal computing in the 1970s."
A grand prize of $50,000 cash also comes with winning the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge. The start-up's three co-founders plan to use that money to continue developing a prototype of their technology.
Source: Yating Hu, co-founder of Piezo PowerTech
Writer: Jon Zemke