Monday, July 23 , 2018, 7:41 am | Fair 67º


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MoreSolar Looks to Bright Future After Winning UCSB’s New Venture Competition

four people holding large checks
The MoreSolar team won this year’s UCSB New Ventures Competition and is looking for additional funding to launch its company.  (UCSB photo)

The team members of MoreSolar, the business idea which won this year’s UC Santa Barbara New Venture Competition, have high hopes for the future.

MoreSolar is a start-up that plans to develop material that would attach to solar panels and use the wind for a continuous cleaning process, so the panels could absorb more energy and become more efficient. 

MoreSolar's four team members include Colette King and Atal  Ashutosh Agarwal, who both graduated from the Master in Technology Management program at UCSB this spring, and undergraduates Andrea Anez and Pete Makrygiannis, who are both going into their second year at UCSB.

They won $12,500 during the final stage of the New Venture Competition, money that will go towards developing the company. 

MoreSolar will also be receiving resources, including office space and equipment, from the on-campus Wilcox New Venture Incubator.

King and Agarwal both received job offers from other companies following graduation, but they declined in order to work on MoreSolar full time, they said. 

The team is currently seeking funding from angel investors in order for the company to be able to invest into its future.

“As for our current standing, we are using our prize money and our incubation money, but we would run short of money by the end of August,” Agarwal said. “We are looking for investors so we can take this idea forward from August onwards.”

King said that MoreSolar was also planning to compete for state grant money targeted at solar projects. 

She added that, as of now, funding isn’t neccesarily the biggest challenge for the company.

“It’s not really about the money, we need the power to go out and show people that this actually works so that we can start demonstrating for them and marketing for ourselves,” she said. “It’s a two-pronged challenge.”

MoreSolar has some bright opportunities in the near future.

First Solar, one of the largest solar manfacturers in the world, has given MoreSolar the opportunity to test its ideas at one of its plants in Mesa, Arizona, King and Agarwal said.

“That will give us a good validation of our idea,” said Agarwal. “Then we’re gonna take it further with manufacturing.”

The New Venture Competition is hosted by UCSB’s Technology Management Program. During the eight-month course of the competition, students form teams and develop start-up ideas.

The best teams have the opportunity to win prize money.

Noozhawk intern Dhiraj Nallapaneni can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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