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First Five Businesses Selected for Green Launching Pad

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
May 5, 2010

Left to right: Ross Gittell, professor and co-principal investigator, Green Launching Pad; Clay Mitchell, Revolution Energy, LLC (one of the winning teams); President Mark Huddleston, Mike Behrmann, Revolution Energy, LLC and Venky Venkatachalam, professor and co-principal investigator, Green Launching Pad.

Gov. John Lynch and President Mark W. Huddleston recently announced the first five businesses selected to participate in the Green Launching Pad, which will help innovative companies bring new products to market and create jobs.

The Green Launching Pad is a partnership between the state and the university that will provide intensive support to New Hampshire companies working to bring clean new energy products to market. 

“My first priority remains helping our businesses grow and create jobs. Even though we are seeing signs of recovery, we must remain vigilant and focused on helping our businesses and getting our people back to work,” Lynch said.

“As we help people get back to work today, I am also focused on making sure that we are growing the jobs and companies of the future right here in New Hampshire. The ideas and the products that will be nurtured by the Green Launching Pad will help create good jobs, strengthen New Hampshire’s economy for the future, and reduce harmful pollution,” Lynch said.

Seventy-one businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications to take part in the Green Launching Pad. An advisory board selected five business teams that will be supported during an intensive summer business accelerator program based in the Seacoast and aligned with UNH. Selected companies will be connected to business, science and engineering faculty to develop finance and marketing plans. The Green Launching Pad also will connect businesses with angel investors and private sector business mentors.

“The Green Launching Pad provides a new opportunity for the University of New Hampshire to partner with entrepreneurs in the emerging green economy. The entrepreneurial spirit infuses what we do at UNH, and we are excited about our part in supporting these business ventures that create new jobs and offer new ways to solve the complex environmental problems facing our state and nation,” Huddleston said.

Selected projects will receive up to $90,000 each in funding and accelerated business development support, including mentorship and coaching from technology, engineering and services industry professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs as well as professional, legal and management advice, networking with funders and supporting businesses, access to office and meeting spaces, and critical operating support from the university.

The Green Launching Pad is the vision of Ross Gittell, the James R. Carter Professor and professor of management; Jesse Devitte, the founder and CEO of Borealis Ventures; and Richard Ober, vice president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. They were joined in developing the vision and program by George Hurtt, associate professor of natural resources and the environment and director of the UNH Complex Systems Research Center; A.R. (Venky) Venkatachalam, chair of the Department of Decision Sciences and professor of information systems; Kevin Gardner, associate professor of environmental engineering and director of the UNH Environmental Research Group; and John Orcutt, professor of law and associate dean of Franklin Pierce Law Center.

For more information, visit http://www.greenlaunchingpad.org/.

A brief description of the winning teams and their projects is available at http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/2010GLPTeams.pdf.

UNH is a leader in conserving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and integrating sustainability throughout its curricula, operations, research, and engagement efforts.

UNH has earned many accolades for its sustainability initiatives, including awards and recognition from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Sustainable Endowments Institute, Sierra Club, Princeton Review, and Business NH Magazine. Highlights of its sustainability commitment include EcoLine™, an innovative landfill gas-to-energy project that will provide up to 85 percent of the university’s energy needs; Green Launching Pad, partnership with the State of New Hampshire to bring green technologies to the marketplace; having the largest transit system in the state; being the first in the nation to receive an EPA Energy Star building rating for residence halls; a new EcoGastronomy dual major; a graduate certificate in sustainability politics and policy; and innovative research and engagement efforts like Carbon Solutions New England and the NH Farm to School program.

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