School name: University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
Team members: Ruba Borno, Tzeno Galchev, Rishiraj Das
Concept: Potentia has devised a battery replacement product that "scavenges" the energy in its environment to extend the lives of wireless sensors, such as those used to automate lighting, heating and cooling systems. Called the Potentia "Evaporation Power Generator," or EPG, it takes advantage of naturally occurring evaporation to generate electrical power.
Potentia founders say their patent-pending innovation captures energy in environments with no direct sunlight. By reducing battery maintenance, replacements and installations, the founders estimate an 80% reduction in wireless sensor costs.
Potentia plans to sell its devices to wireless sensor manufacturers. The company intends to develop, test, and market the EPG. Manufacturing will be outsourced.
Timeline: Provisional patents have been filed with the government, and prototypes are currently under testing. - Kathleen Ryan O'Connor
NEXT: Software to help men shop