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Business Observer Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 5 years ago

USF startup wins green-business award

Trash2Cash-Energy LLC receives recognition for its patented process that converts landfill gas into fuel.

TAMPA — Trash2Cash-Energy LLC, a University of South Florida startup company, was named a finalist at the 2013 Southeast Region Finals of the Cleantech Open, the world's largest accelerator for clean-technology companies.

According to Cleantech, the five finalist companies were selected from among 20 companies who entered the Southeast regional accelerator of the Cleantech Open this year. Trash2Cash Energy was both named as a finalist and recognized with the Sustainability Award.

Trash2Cash has licensed a technology process from USF that converts natural landfill gas to hydrocarbon fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, or aviation fuel, specific to their customers' needs. USF Assistant Professor John Kuhn, Professor Babu Joseph, USF student Syed Gardezi and recent USF graduates Timothy Roberge and Devin Walker founded the company in 2012.

The company's patent-pending process offers the double benefit of producing energy from a renewable source, while at the same time reducing a harmful gas that can cause explosions or contaminate groundwater.

As a regional finalist, Trash2Cash will receive a “Startup in a Box” package that includes cash and donated services worth up to $20,000. The company will also move on to compete at the Cleantech Open Global Forum this week in San Jose, Calif. The winner at the Global Forum level will receive a $200,000 award package and the title of 2013 Top Cleantech Entrepreneur.

The Cleantech Open is a nonprofit organization that works to help the most promising startups in clean technology fields through a nine-month program that includes education, relationship building and funding opportunities. The program encourages clean-technology entrepreneurs from around the nation to compete for local recognition and for a piece of the overall $1 million purse for the national winners.

“We saw the Cleantech Open as a network and investor-friendly opportunity,” said Walker, who serves as the company's chief operating officer. “We are raising capital to fund a pilot unit, which will enable us to demonstrate the technology for customers in Florida.”

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