More Galleries
7 hot businesses to start now It's hard to predict what businesses will take off, but these startup ideas have been drawing tons of interest from entrepreneurs and their customers on More
How will a minimum wage hike hit businesses? Thirteen states increased the minimum wage on Jan. 1, and President Obama supports raising the federal rate to $10.10. 4 small business owners weigh in on how an increase would affect them. More
America's favorite businesses From a science camp for girls to a kombucha brewer, communities around the country voted on their favorite small businesses. These 12 came out on top, each scoring a $250,000 grant from Chase and a trip to Google's headquarters. More

Special Offer
19 of 36
Building a better battery
Building a better battery
Claude Hou and Zachary Denton
Team name: Filigree Nanotech

School: Wake Forest University, Babcock Graduate School of Management

Team members: Claude Hou, Chang Chen, Zachary Denton, Geoffrey Goss

Concept: Nanotubes 100,000 times thinner than a human hair may hold the key to making cheaper and more durable batteries.

The silver and platinum nanotubes, developed by Wake Forest MBA student Claude Hou and his Filigree Nanotech team, would increase the surface area of metal available within batteries by a factor of 10,000 or more. Because the silver surface of batteries stores electrical charge, increasing this surface area boosts battery life and performance.

Forty billion batteries are produced and sold worldwide each year - a quickly growing market worth $73.6 billion last year. Filigree plans to start with a tiny slice of this market, focusing on the material application of its nanotubes in silver-zinc batteries and fuel cells.

Filigree's marketing plans include delivering free samples to potential customers. While the founders believe they are at least two years ahead of major competitors in the field of silver and platinum nanotube technology, the venture faces competition from manufacturers such as QuantumSphere of Santa Ana, Calif., and Shanghai Huzheng Nano Technology of Shanghai, China.

Timeline: Filigree is looking to the Small Business Innovation Research program for funding. Initially it plans to sell its product directly to second-tier battery makers - a group seen as underserved by current technology, easier to reach than larger players, and more eager to take the risk of implementing new technology. Filigree has already signed up ZPower of Camarillo, Calif., a maker of rechargeable silver-zinc batteries. - Ben Frumin

NEXT: Lighting rural India - with rice husks

Last updated May 02 2008: 11:51 AM ET
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.