9 of 12
BACKNEXT
Cutting energy costs in skyscrapers
Cutting energy costs in skyscrapers
Paul Suthapong, Jin Suntivich and Erik Williamson
Company: The High Definition Glass Company (HDG)
School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Team members: Paul Suthapong, Erik Williamson, Jin Suntivich

Concept: "It started with a plastic bag," Jin Suntivich says.

Suntivich, a material science and engineering Ph.D. candidate, began to explore the technological components of what would become the High Definition Glass Company's flagship product during a materials class at MIT. At first, Suntivich investigated the possibility of using recycled plastic bags to enhance the energy-saving properties of window glass. With the help of MBA student Paul Suthapong and other industry experts, the fledgling HDG's vision evolved from recycled plastic to an "extreme performance" window coating.

The team's water-based, environmentally friendly coating is just a nanometer thick, but it features antibacterial, anti-glare and self-cleaning properties, and boosts energy efficiency. HDG targets skyscraper developers looking to reduce their utility and maintenance costs.

"With the current economy and cost of energy in general, this product will be more valuable in the future as time goes on," says Erik Williamson, also an MIT Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering. "It's more money up front, but over the life of the building and with energy costs rising, it will save a lot of money."

Timeline: HDG is currently in "Phase 0," working to solidify its business model and industry contacts and refine its prototypes. Suthapong says it will be at least six months before they begin to approach venture-capital investors about a formal first round of funding. -Christina Crapanzano

NEXT: Faster, cheaper medical diagnostics

LAST UPDATE: Apr 21 2009 | 9:26 PM ET
Sponsored by
Where are they now? Striking deals with the San Francisco Giants and landing millions in venture financing, last year's top teams have battled the downturn. More
7 business plan superstars After winning competitions with their business plans, these 7 ventures turned their paper visions into thriving companies. More
6 ideas for changing the world Do good and make money: That's the goal of these six startups vying for the Social Venture Award and $10,000 in seed money. More
Sponsors

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.