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WVU conference promotes energy innovators working on ‘some of the world’s most challenging problems’

Titanium Titans Robotics, a high school robotics team near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, demonstrates one of its robots at the 2017 TransTech Energy conference.
Titanium Titans Robotics, a high school robotics team near Canonsburg, Pa., demonstrates one of its robots at the 2017 TransTech Energy conference.

Morgantown, W.Va. - A gathering of innovative startup companies will promote businesses and projects that reduce building energy costs by up to 40 percent while maintaining comfort in every room; convert waste materials to energy and useful products; adapt the Internet of Things concepts for smarter manufacturing and a more dependable electric grid. 

These are just a few of the ideas being pitched tomorrow and Wednesday (Oct. 23-24) to investors and industry partners at the seventh TransTech Energy Business Development Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

“TransTech innovators and entrepreneurs are discovering and commercializing solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems and they are the lifeblood of economic development for our future,” said Carl Irwin, director of the TransTech Energy Research and Business Development Program at West Virginia University

Examples of companies and products being pitched:

  • Arieca - patented material “thubber,” a rubbery material with high thermal conductivity, can be used to dissipate heat in computers, space suits, and batteries;
  • Teratonix - receivers that harvest free energy from radio waves, TVs, and cell phone towers and use it for charging wireless sensors, controls and personal IoT devices;
  • NutraChar - low-temperature gasification process that provides heat for poultry houses and converts poultry waste into a biochar soil amendment;
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory - multiple patents for miniaturized probes that remotely monitor contaminants in energy production, water treatment, and cement and steel manufacturing. 

Keynote panelists will discuss success stories and strategies for Mid-Atlantic rust belt communities to rev up local entrepreneurship by taking advantage of IoT global connectivity, new and abundant energy resources and smart manufacturing technologies. 

Will Allen will moderate the keynote panel. Allen is co-founder and managing partner at Nascent Group Holdings investment company, a 12-year NFL veteran with the Steelers and Buccaneers and a 2003 consensus All-American at Ohio State University.

Other conference speakers:

  • Cargill Corporation’s Lance Fountaine, a smart manufacturing and industry 4.0 expert;
  • Carnegie Mellon University Professor Joe Hezir, principal, Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. and former chief financial officer, U.S. Department of Energy;
  • Clara Asmail, senior advisor with DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions;
  • Tom Doyle, a WVU grad and 30-year Silicon Valley executive who returned to serve as CEO of the WVU spinout company Aspinity. 

A fast moving “Meet and Greet” session gives conference attendees opportunities for 10-minute, get-acquainted conversations with regional investors, industry reps, NETL technology and strategic partnership managers, tech-based economic developers and business lawyers.

Irwin noted that TransTech's top 32 alumni startups who pitched between 2012 and 2017 have created more than 324 new jobs and have obtained more than $128 million in follow-on investment. 

“The TTE conference is a great place to be part of the process of getting from a cool idea to a startup company and on to a successful business creating new jobs for our region.”  

-WVU-

sf/10/22/18

CONTACT: Sandra Fallon, TransTech Energy Research and Business Development Program
304.293.6456; sfallon@mail.wvu.edu