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Driving Innovation and Growth
Press Release
September 15, 2014

Global Midwest Alliance Announces 2014 Polsinelli Innovation Competition Finalists

CHICAGO - Global Midwest Alliance and Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) are pleased to announce the five finalists in its 6th Annual innovation competition -- the 2014 Polsinelli Innovation Competition -- a leading Midwest competition for entrepreneurs developing innovative processes, products and services in the clean and green technology industries.  The five finalists are: 75F, based in Mankato, MN; Effortless Energy, based in Chicago, IL; GAME Consultants USA Inc., based in Port St. Lucie, Florida; SurClean Inc., based in Wixom, MI; and The Mackinac Technology Company, based in Grand Rapids, MI.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition showcase will be held during the Clean Technology Innovation, Growth and Globalization program, Trends in Clean Tech on October 23 at the Union League Club in Chicago.  The innovation competition focuses on excellence in technology innovation, products and services across the Midwest and beyond.  Finalists will present their technologies to an audience of early-stage investors, entrepreneurs, clean tech-focused venture capitalists and financiers, corporate R&D and business development executives, and researchers.  The winners will be announced immediately following the Polsinelli Innovation Competition showcase.

Entries in the competition are required to provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community improvements, or green building science.  These solutions must offer competitive returns for investors and customers. Products, services and processes eligible for entry must improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources; reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact; and provide superior performance at lower costs compared to other approaches.

The finalists:

75F offers an HVAC control solution that addresses the wide temperature imbalances in light commercial buildings. The company's system offers per room, individual temperature control while saving 40% in energy costs. A combination of wireless sensors and patented dampers cuts installation labor by 80% over traditional zone control systems with a 3-year payback.

Effortless Energy is a residential energy services company that uses finance and software-as-a-service to help homeowners get cost-effective home upgrades at no cost to them.

GAME Consultants USA Inc. is a specialized consulting firm that provides a full range of live drinking water main condition assessments using various JD7 Technologies from the UK. GAME Consultants provides the condition assessment service and reporting for water pipes ranging from 4-12 inches.

SurClean Inc., an emerging company, has disruptive laser technology that selectively removes paint, debris, oxides and other surface coatings from almost any type of surface. Aircraft, ships and other major assets require regular surface stripping for mandated inspections and maintenance.

The Mackinac Technology company has developed a transparent, color neutral, diamond‐like coating material for polymer substrates. The coating is used in a retrofit window insulation system that can provide R‐13 performance at prices points low enough to achieve payback in three to five years.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition is a preeminent venue for entrepreneurs in new clean and green technologies to present venture-ready business ideas to the scientific and research communities and potential investors. Inventors submit their products, services or processes to a qualified panel of experts—competing not only for a cash award and a Tech Start-Up Legal Service Package valued at $10,000 (sponsored by Polsinelli), but also for opportunities to explore licensing and funding, network with investors and help their ideas become reality.  Submissions are judged by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and clean tech business executives.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition is presented by the Global Midwest Alliance and the Midwest Research University Network and sponsored by the Polsinelli law firm.

About Polsinelli
Polsinelli is a first generation Am Law 100 firm serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals nationally.  Our attorneys successfully build enduring client relationships by providing practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and with a passion for assisting General Counsel and CEOs in achieving their objectives. Polsinelli is ranked 18th in number of U.S. partners and has more than 740 attorneys in 19 offices. Profiled by The American Lawyer and ranked as the fastest growing U.S. law firm over a six-year period, the firm focuses on healthcare, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation, and has depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries.  The firm can be found online at

About MRUN
The Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) is a commercialization collaborative focused on fostering the formation and growth of high tech start-ups in the Midwest. MRUN members include individuals engaged in venture formation at universities and research institutions, investors, entrepreneurs and those who help them.  All are either in, or interested in, the Midwest.  The MRUN community helps members make connections informally to solve common problems in startup business development including, angel and seed–stage financing, placement of management talent and opportunities for collaboration.  MRUN is built around the idea that working together regionally in new business formation can accomplish more than working independently locally.  For more information visit

Global Midwest Alliance is a business-led, region-wide, not-for-profit education organization dedicated to transforming the Midwest into an internationally recognized leader in innovation and business growth. The Alliance aligns and integrates resources throughout the Midwest helping businesses to grow by leveraging existing resources to develop new products and find customers throughout the world. The Alliance is the Private Sector Liaison Office for the World Bank and a member of Global CONNECT. Through these and other affiliations, the Alliance facilitates access to global business opportunities for Midwest business. The Alliance offers educational opportunities through a variety of programs and resources designed to promote innovation, technology development and access to global opportunities in the clean technology, energy, food, logistics, manufacturing and water industries.  For more information, visit

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