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Clean Energy Trust will showcase eight of the most innovative and promising university-based cleantech companies in the Midwest for a chance to win the Department of Energy’s Cleantech University Prize.

Join us to hear from these exciting young companies, and cleantech leaders Will Allen and Jennifer Holmgren.


Abyss Incorporated

University of Minnesota

Advanced batteries


Millikin University

Advanced materials, solar, manufacturing

Minnealloy Magnetics

University of Minnesota

Advanced materials, magnetics, power electronics

Mohyi Labs

Michigan State University

Drone technology, transportation/logistics


Northwestern University

Water purification


University of Michigan

Smart grid, consumer energy management

RVS Rubber Solutions

Case Western Reserve University

Industrial recycling

Wattcoin Labs

Illinois Institute of Technology / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Blockchain technology


2:00 – 2:15 – Clean Energy Trust Welcome

2:15 – 3:15 – First set of 4 team pitches

3:15 – 3:45 – Will Allen talk and Q&A

3:45 – 4:45 – Second set of 4 team pitches

4:45 – 5:15 – Jennifer Holmgren keynote, Judges deliberation

5:30 – 7:00 – Awards announcement and Reception


Will Allen is a graduate from The Ohio State University where he earned a B.A. in strategic communication. Along with graduating from OSU Will was also a member of the 2002 National Championship team that beat the University of Miami. Allen’s senior year he was named a consensus All- American and also drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 and most recently played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Allen has had a successful 12-year career in the NFL.

Allen is committed to strengthening his community and helping to build hope. He is very enthusiastic about encouraging others to take his same stance in helping their respective communities. He was inspired to give back and make a difference; therefore, in 2008 he established the Will Allen Foundation. Allen always felt it was his designed purpose to help provide tools and resources to Educate + Influence + Empower people in his surrounding community. Being afforded so much and having wonderful mentors in his life, Allen was fervent to serve and “pay it forward”. Allen also sits on the advisory committee for Be A Middle School Mentor. BAMSM is a program that serves 6th-8th graders in Allegheny County through the United Way of Allegheny County.

You can frequently find him sharing creative ideas at community round table forums, speaking at corporate events or elementary schools or inspiring people to give back. Allen also enjoys the game of golf and continuing his education through various NFL programs. Throughout his career Allen has participated in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Programs at the Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Business. Allen recently completed the NFLPA internship/externship with an energy and utility company National Grid, energy consultants Brattle Group, OPOWER, with United States House of Representatives, Congressman Bobby Rush on the Energy and Power subcommittee and is the Managing Partner at Nascent Group Holdings.


Dr. Jennifer Holmgren is the Chief Executive Officer of LanzaTech. Jennifer has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector including a proven track record in the development and commercialization of fuels and chemicals technologies. Prior to joining LanzaTech, she was Vice President and General Manager of the Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company. In that role, she led UOP’s renewable business from its inception through to the achievement of significant revenues from the commercialization of multiple novel biofuels technologies.

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren holds a B.Sc. degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of Chicago. She currently serves on multiple external advisory boards. She is the author or co-author of 50 US patents, 20 scientific publications and is the 2003 recipient of the Council for Chemical Research’s (CCR) Malcolm E. Pruitt Award.