Winners of The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition™ India 2010, IIT Madras, Announced

by sarabjeet-singh on Oct 27, 2010      Category: Energy Tags: sustainability al gore cleantech iits iims bplan competitions

The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition™, India 2010 was held September 29 – October 3, 2010 at one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education: the sylvan and stunning Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras. Seven leading CEOs and MDs, of major venture capital firms, and from industry, judged the competition. Eight finalist teams, from India's best institutions, competed in Asia's first and most prestigious sustainable/clean technology venture competition, which is now officially in its third year. Team Nairao Inventions (Sastra University, Thanjavur) took first prize, for a new means of capturing carbon from industrial exhaust to create relatively inexpensive industry-grade Carbon Nanotubes (CNT); and Team Think Innoventions (IIT Kharagpur - IIM Ahmedabad), took second prize, for a novel way to desalinate sea water.View the 2010 Competition Photo Gallery. Carnegie Mellon University's story on Oopali Operajita and the history and origin of the competition, which she founded and created in February 2007, is here.

In 2010, the United States federal government was represented by the US Embassy in Delhi's top diplomat in charge of economic affairs, and environment, science and technology: H E Minister-Counsellor Blair Hall, who inaugurated the competition September 29, 2010, at IIT Madras, Chennai, India. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the world's largest network of entrepreneurs, was the 2010 competition's knowledge partner.

Renowned industrialist Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman & Managing Director of TVS Capital Funds Limited, a part of the flagship TVS Group, one of India's leading, oldest and most respected industrial houses, gave the prizes away at the awards ceremony, October 3, at the IC & SR auditorium, IIT Madras.

The competition is honoured to have had IIT Madras as its education partner in 2010, particularly as this is the very year in which its alum, Prof. Subra Suresh, former dean of engineering at MIT, has been appointed by President Obama as Director of the National Science Foundation, USA. Suresh was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 30, 2010, for a six-year term and sworn in October 18. Read the official press release here. 

IIT Madras has to be congratulated on yet another of its brilliant alumni, Gururaj Deshpande, chairman of Tejas Networks, A123 and Akshaya Patra, being appointed co-chair of President Barack Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the same year: 2010. Deshpande will support President Obama's innovation strategy by helping develop policies that foster entrepreneurship, create jobs and drive economic growth. Deshpande has started and taken public three multi-billion dollar companies, including A123 Systems, which debuted well on Nasdaq.

At the Al Gore Sustainable Venture Competition, 2009, India at IIT Kharagpur, the United States government was represented by the US Consul General in Kolkata, Ms. Beth Payne. Read her speech on the occasion here. The 2009 winners have received $2.1 million in venture capitalist funding, and a finalist team from IIT Madras won the first ever NYC "Next Idea" prize from Mayor Bloomberg in January 2010. Read the story on their win here. 


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I am an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur where I completed a bachelors and masters in mathematics and computing. I am passionate about business, social entrepreneurship, climate change and international relations. My interest in the development sector began with my work with more


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