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NUvention Courses
NUvention: Energy

Applications for Winter 2021 NUvention: Energy are available here

NUvention: Energy (ENTREP 474, ISEN 430) responds to the demand for innovation and entrepreneurship in the sustainable energy and cleantech space that will increasingly be required to deal with climate change, resource constraint, and other environmental challenges. The Farley Center partnered with the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern to offer this course through the McCormick School of Engineering. 

Students from engineering, business, arts and sciences, law and other graduate schools across campus come together in interdisciplinary teams to develop a product or service, and a business plan, in the sustainable energy or cleantech industry. The objective of the course is to provide students with a realistic simulation of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurial founding teams face trying to create a business around technologies or services that both meet a market need and have a positive environmental impact.

Past NUvention: Energy teams have gone on to compete in national business plan competitions and have collectively won more than $1 million dollars.

Quarter Time Location
Winter 2021 Mondays, 6-9 p.m. Remote Instruction via Zoom


Past Projects



Numix supplies specialty wastewater treatment chemicals that use ion exchange to remove and recover a range of 16 valuable, toxic heavy metals at up to 10 times as much metal to absorbent as competing technologies.


Pedacell creates motion-powered phone chargers for the bike share industry through novel bicycle energy capture technology. We partner with bike share networks to deliver a new rider experience centered around the power of movement and to inspire sustainable mindsets.


Chargeferry aims to enable access to electric vehicles to urban dwellers who have limited charging options. Our fleet deploys undercarriage charging systems at the customers’ convenience opening up a new era for urban electric transportation.


Gibbs provides free energy efficiency products (such as LED lights) to commercial and industrial buildings in exchange for a portion of energy savings.


Nirvana is manufacturing recyclable rubber using a cost-efficient, patented technology.

Hazel Technologies

Hazel Technologies is biotechnology company that designs solutions for fresher, longer-lasting and healthier produce. Hazel Tech's biodegradable pod, FruitBite, combats food waste by extending shelf-life of ethylene-sensitive produce. Its newest product, BerryBite, prolongs the shelf life of berries by up to three times.

Advisory Board

NUvention: Energy Advisory Board members bring expertise and perspective from a variety of relevant disciplines and contexts, including law, business development and consulting.

Tim Stojka, Chairman, CEO, Agentis Energy

Willem Bakker, President, Eagle-Technology Inc.

Erik Birkerts, CEO, Clean Energy Trust

Anne Johlie, Regional Vice President, Program Management, Mobilitie

Katie Kollhoff, CEO, NUMiX Materials

Jim Murphy, President & COO, Invenergy

Paul Pebbles, Customer Experience Chief Engineer - Sales & Dealer, General Motors

James Petersen, COO and President of Retail Services, AEP Energy

Brian Tolliver, Head of Corporate Development, Cabot Microelectronics

Tapasya Wancho, Staff Product Manager, Tesla

Adria Wilson, RD&D Policy Manager, Gates Ventures

Jeff Yingling, Partner, Investment Committee Chair, Energy Capital Ventures



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