Friday, March 12, 2010

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Awards $2,000 Grant to "Green" Start-Up Company Founded by Georgia Tech Students

/PRNewswire/ -- The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is proud to award $2,000 in prize money to "Waste to Watts (W2W): Solution-Based Recycling," an Atlanta-based start-up company with a mission to end energy poverty in third-world countries and reduce environmentally hazardous electronic waste.

GEI awarded the prize as part of the 2010 Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition, which promotes entrepreneurship among Georgia Tech students and alumni by encouraging them to launch cutting-edge, high-value businesses. GEI has proudly sponsored the GREENGUARD Sustainability Award for the past three years.

"We are thrilled to support to the Waste to Watts team in their efforts to tackle this very important health and environmental crisis," said Dr. Marilyn Black, founder of GEI. "These talented young entrepreneurs are trailblazers in both the green space and the health space, and we wish them the best of luck as they continue developing their prototype technology."

Founded by two Georgia Tech seniors, a Duke University sophomore, and a Duke University alumnus, W2W aims to repurpose electronic waste--like computer equipment and discarded lead acid batteries--to create an inexpensive, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for developing nations. This is important because in developing nations, frequent power surges, daily blackouts, and other electricity failures damage the computers and medical equipment used in hospitals, which results in poor and unreliable health care. Moreover, dead lead acid batteries--which contain hazardous heavy metals--are often disposed of improperly and contribute significantly to environmental pollution.

"Through the generosity of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, we are able to recognize student entrepreneurs who apply creative engineering and business solutions to address critical environmental problems," said Alan Flury, director of BPC. "I can easily envision a day when every student venture competing in the BPC will be environmentally sustainable. When that occurs, it will be largely attributable to our partnership with the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute."

W2W's founders say they plan to use their prize money to help pay for a new Web site and the continued development of their prototype.

About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an industry-independent, third-party, not-for-profit organization that aims to improve human health through programs that reduce people's exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. The GREENGUARD Certification Programs certify products for low chemical emissions and provide consumers with a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent standards for low chemical emissions based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.

About Georgia Tech Business Plan Competition (BPC)

The Georgia Tech BPC strives to create an integrated learning experience that promotes academic excellence in the development of entrepreneurial concepts and business plans; to encourage the founding of high-value, leading-edge enterprises and support student teams who choose to move forward with the startup of their businesses; and to inspire students to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice. Since its inception in 2001, BPC has awarded over $500,000 in prizes to over 550 students and alumni. Participants compete to win best business plan, most fundable business plan, most innovative intellectual property, and most environmentally sustainable business plan, among others. Panels of topical experts and entrepreneurs participate as judges and determine the winner in each category. For more information, visit http://mgt.gatech.edu/.

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