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SiNode Systems Takes Home the National Clean Energy Business Competition Prize

Last night, SiNode Systems, representing the Western Southwest region of the country, was pronounced the winner of the this year’s Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. The results were announced after two days of events dedicated to showcasing some of the most exciting young start-ups in the country, and sharing industry insights. On day one of the competition, which took place in our D.C. offices, we were proud to host U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who delivered the keynote and opening remarks to the competitors and leading VCs including Venrock and Khosla Ventures.

Later in the day we were joined by David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (and co-founder of the New England Clean Energy Council) .

Yesterday, at George Washington University, the start-ups heard from leading VCs, DOE, entrepreneurs, and our own Tom Burton, during panel discussions on bringing clean energy technology to market, common pitfalls of early start-ups, strategic partnerships, financing options, and more.

The winning team was selected by a panel of five expert judges, comprised of:

  • Michael Ahearn, Founder, True North Venture Partners
  • Andrew Chung, Partner, Khosla Ventures
  • Matthew Nordan, Vice President, Venrock Capital
  • Katie Petersen, Director at iStart, Manager in Networks and Innovation, Kauffman Foundation
  • Dan Reicher, Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University

The winning team, SiNode Systems, received $100,000 and various in-kind support from event sponsors. SiNode Systems pursues advances in lithium-ion battery anodes to create a battery that has up to seven times the energy density and charges ten times more quickly than a lithium-ion battery. SiNode Systems' anode technology employs a composite of silicon nano-particles within a patent-pending graphene scaffolding system to transform a variety of industries, ranging from consumer electronics to electric vehicles.

A hearty congratulations to all competitors!

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Thomas R. Burton, III

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Tom Burton has helped to shape the clean energy industry by drawing on his passion for innovation. As a Mintz attorney, Tom counsels investors, entrepreneurs, and Fortune 100 companies. He also guides start-up organizations and accelerators to foster the next generation of energy leaders.

Sahir Surmeli

Member / Co-chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Sahir Surmeli is a Mintz business counselor who advises companies, boards, entrepreneurs, investment banks, and venture and private equity investors as they build and grow companies. He handles public offerings, 144A and private financings, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships.