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FLoW Competition Offers University Students $100,000 First Prize and the Chance to Start a Clean Energy Business

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- First Look West (FLoW), www.flow.caltech.edu the largest clean energy business challenge for students in the West, announces its second annual competition offering more than $100,000 in prize money as well as start up packages for launching new companies. FLoW also seeks cleantech experts as mentors and corporate partners to support this exciting program.

Led by the California Institute of Technology, FLoW is a consortium of universities overseeing the western region of the Department of Energy's $2 million National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. In its first year, FLoW attracted over 100 contestants and 83 teams from 34 universities across 12 states. More than 70 mentors and 40 judges including top investors Mohr Davidow, Khosla Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers participated.

In Year 2, FLoW offers a $100,000 first prize as well as other cash awards and the opportunity to receive legal help and work with experienced mentors eager to help students jumpstart their ventures. Teams also participate in educational webinars and pitch to investors ready to take action and work with their team. This year will offer more programming support, and will inaugurate industry demo days giving young entrepreneurs the opportunity to demonstrate their innovations. The Regional winner will compete at the DOE's National Competition in Washington D.C., June 2013 at an event that receives national recognition.

FLoW's territory covers California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, American Samoa and Guam, Teams must submit applications by January 27, 2013. The best-in-class teams then qualify for the final judging round for the Western Region, held at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, May 7, 2013.

FLoW depends on its pool of mentors to offer guidance and help these young entrepreneurs take advantage of the FLoW resources, do their best in the competition and build their businesses. The seven month program offers business and academic leaders the opportunity to gain early sight of the innovations that will transform the energy economy and work with the cleantech leaders of tomorrow.

Students wishing to apply can submit online at the FLoW website www.flow.caltech.edu.

SOURCE USC Stevens Center for Innovation