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Wells Fargo Increases Commitment to Clean Energy Track

As part of its national environmental grant program, Wells Fargo has provided a three-year grant totaling $450,000 to McCombs that will allow the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) to further develop the Clean Energy track started last year with an initial grant from Wells Fargo.

The new grant will increase the prize money for the Clean Energy prize at the 2013 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition (GVLIC) from $10,000 to $20,000. The competition brings together graduate students from universities around the globe each May to pitch their business plans to panels of investors who select the best new-venture opportunity. With aspiring entrepreneurs soliciting startup funds from experienced investors, the competition simulates the real-world process of raising venture capital. 

 Last year's inaugural Wells Fargo Clean Energy Prize winner was a team from Thammasat University in Thailand whose startup, Paramaxx, has a proprietary technology that can extract valuable natural minerals such as magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus from industrial waste.

The annual competition is sponsored by Texas Venture Labs, which also offers graduate students in business, law, engineering and natural sciences an opportunity to get hands-on experience assisting startup businesses. A new group of startups is recruited for Texas Venture Labs each semester, and the Wells Fargo grant will support the recruitment of startups focused on improving energy efficiency, innovating energy delivery and offering energy from alternative fuels, for both residential and commercial energy sectors.

"We're pleased that Wells Fargo is increasing their commitment to the Clean Energy track," said Rob Adams, director of the Texas Venture Labs, which sponsors the investment competition. "Wells Fargo's commitment to renewable energy and entrepreneurial endeavors in this rapidly growing sector are of real value to the companies raising money through the Venture Labs process."

"Our sponsorship pairs two of our priorities: education and technology. It's impressive to be directly involved with these brilliant students from all over the world throughout the competition not only as sponsors but also as mentors and business experts," said Doug Mangum, who spearheads Wells Fargo's technology and clean technology practice in Austin. 

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