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Entrepreneurial Competition Receives Boost From Wells Fargo

A $100,000 grant will go to Northwestern University Venture Challenge

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Efforts made by Northwestern University Venture Challenge (NUVC) to jumpstart the endeavors of the University’s most promising student entrepreneurs have been bolstered by a $100,000 Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation Grant.

“We are excited to be a recipient of this highly competitive grant,” said Michael Krakaris, a junior in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and NUVC’s student director. “We truly appreciate being recognized.”

NUVC is a yearly business competition in which teams pitch innovative ideas from five different industry-specific tracks in hopes of winning prize money to help fund their startups. At least one team member must be affiliated with the University.

In six years, the challenge has attracted more than 100 competitors from a wide range of Northwestern undergraduate and graduate programs. Close to $175,000 in funding was awarded in the 2014 competition.

“The grant will help advance a thriving entrepreneurial scene at Northwestern,” Krakaris said. “By sponsoring NUVC, Wells Fargo is bolstering the ability of driven students to turn their ideas into reality.”

“Wells Fargo is proud to support Northwestern and its outstanding NUVC program,” said Ashley Grosh, vice president, Wells Fargo Environmental Affairs. “This program and its mission to foster innovation and bring technologies to the marketplace aligns with the goals of the Wells Fargo Cleantech and Innovation grant program to help solve critical challenges across our communities.”

The Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation Grant supports environmentally-focused nonprofits, colleges and universities. Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, the innovation grant fosters economic development, especially in underserved communities, to accelerate the global “green” economy. The goal of the program is to inspire innovation from entrepreneurs and fund research entities working on critical environmental issues. Wells Fargo has committed to provide $100 million of funding for the grant by 2020.

One of NUVC’s industry tracks for the 2015 competition is “Green Energy and Sustainability.”

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