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6500 - Malone University students named semi-finalists in Ohio Clean Energy Challenge

6500-January 11, 2013

Malone University students have been named semi-finalists and will participate in the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge taking place Tuesday, January 29 at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Presented by the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio (UCEAO) and NorTech, the 2013 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge is a clean energy student business plan competition designed to provide student entrepreneurs with the opportunity to showcase their energy technology and business plans; receive university and industry support and feedback; gain exposure within the venture capital and funding community; and compete for cash prizes to support their technology and business plan.

The semi-finalist team from Malone University includes:

  •  Cameron Worth, a senior business administration major from Canton
  • Jonathan Clark, a junior business administration major from Clinton
  • Donghai Chen, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Malone
  • Jonathon Miller, a junior chemistry major from Uhrichsville.
  • Presenters at the challenge will be Worth and Miller, joined by Catherine Kennedy, a senior business administration major from Wadsworth.

The Malone University team will present CW Inc., which uses a methane transformer to convert manure to natural gas. While most waste recyclers convert manure into electricity, this alternative method of using the waste is unique and advantageous to the consumer because they will be able to significantly decrease their natural gas costs while utilizing their own waste product. Mentor for the project is Kerri Breen of Arsenal Venture Partners.

Remaining semi-finalist teams will represent The University of Toledo, Cleveland State University, Wright State University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Cincinnati, and The Ohio State University.

Established by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the 2013 Ohio Clean Energy Challenge is part of the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition designed to create a network of student-focused clean energy business competitions. The Ohio Challenge supports DOE's strategy to establish broader innovation and commercialization efforts, and to build a nation-wide energy entrepreneurship ecosystem. DOE selected the Clean Energy Trust in Chicago, Ill. to administer the Midwest regional competition. The winner of the Ohio Competition will receive the $10,000 state prize and go on to compete for the $100,000 grand prize at the Midwest regional competition on April 4, in Chicago, Ill., and a place in the National competition in Washington, D.C.

A brief Q&A with Worth and Kennedy:

Why were you interested in participating?

Worth: I wanted to do this challenge because I am a very entrepreneurial kind of person, and to get a chance to create a product/company and enter it into a contest was something that I thought was right up my alley.

Kennedy: I was initially interested in participating in this project because clean energy and sustainability are both things that I value as a consumer and a citizen. I also knew this project would be a great opportunity for practical business applications as well as further involving (service organization for business majors) Malone Enactus in the community.

Please describe your project.

Worth: Our project is called the Methane Transformer and what it does is take cow manure and takes out all of the methane and refines it for use in household equipment like stoves and heaters. The point of our project is to make it so that dairy farmers can be more self-sufficient and will be able to use that methane that is readily available on their farms in place of natural gas eliminating one more of their bills.

Kennedy: Our project stemmed from an idea in the chemistry department which focused on designing a product which converts cow manure into natural gas that can be used for power. The goal of the project is to market our product to cattle and dairy farmers who will be able to convert their waste into usable natural gas. I am on the business side of the team, so I have been working with Cameron Worth to develop the business plan and proposals for the item.

What do you look forward to most with this experience?

Worth: I look forward to competing in Columbus against teams from schools like Case Western Reserve. I also look forward to what this product/company could lead to in the future.

Kennedy: I am very excited to travel to Columbus and present our project. There will be 10 teams from other Universities who will be there as well, and I know it will be a great chance to meet, connect, and network with these people, the mentors and judges. I know all of our team members will be able to learn a great amount from this experience.

How do you think Malone has prepared you for this experience?

Worth: I think that through the various courses that we are required to take as Business Administration majors I feel that we were well prepared. Some of the skills that we learned were entrepreneurial skills, budgeting skills, and marketing skills.

Kennedy: One of the most helpful things Malone has provided to help me for this experience so far has been Malone Enactus (formerly SIFE). My involvement in this organization was driven by passionate professors who gave me the tools needed to develop sufficient business plans and to actively engage in public presentations. Many of the professors in the business department have a firm commitment to sustainability, and their passion has definitely been an asset and encouragement throughout this project.

What do you hope to gain from the experience?

Kennedy: I know that this is a fantastic opportunity for all of the team members and I am very grateful to Malone for providing us with the resources needed to pursue this endeavor. Our project has the potential to go far beyond this competition and I can't wait to see where these ideas take us. I am very excited for this new adventure!

Malone University, a Christian university for the arts, sciences, and professions in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church, awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 100 academic programs. Malone has been recognized by the prestigious Templeton Foundation as a leader in character development, as one of Northeast Ohio’s Top Workplaces by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and is ranked among the top colleges and universities in the Midwest under the category Regional Universities according to U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges 2015 


Suzanne Thomas, APR
Director of University Relations
Malone University
2600 Cleveland Avenue N.W., Canton, OH, 44709
Phone: 330-471-8239
Cell: 330-324-2424