More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Special Offer
5 of 36
5th place: Solar energy gets cheap
5th place: Solar energy gets cheap
Vanja Lichtensteiger, Christian Pfeffer, and Lukas Lichtensteiger
Team name: Enexra

School: Harvard University, Harvard Business School

Team members: Vanja Lichtensteiger, Christian Pfeffer, and Lukas Lichtensteiger

Concept: Enexra's founders have developed a technology that allows for more efficient use of crystalline silicon in solar cells - a breakthrough that could allow solar cells to generate electricity at costs competitive with conventional energy sources.

The founders are both Harvard post-doctoral fellows with extensive experience in physics, materials science and microfabrication. They have created several working prototypes of their technology, which targets a rapidly expanding market: The photovoltaic industry is growing at 30% per year, a rate Enexra expects to continue for the next two decades.

Timeline: Enexra's operational plan is twofold. First, it will set up a production facility for its efficient crystalline silicon, which it plans to sell to other companies. The profits from this first step will allow the company to make its own solar cells incorporating its technology. Enexra plans to enter the market by mid-2009 and to start manufacturing solar cells in 2010. - Konstantin Shishkin

NEXT: 6th place: Better heart monitoring

Last updated May 02 2008: 11:51 AM ET

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.