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Driving Innovation and Growth
Press Release
November 16, 2015

NETenergy Wins 2015 Polsinelli Innovation Competition 
Companies BessTech and Pegasus Sustainability Solutions Named Runners-Up

CHICAGO – Global Midwest Alliance today announced that NETenergy is the winner of the 2015 Polsinelli Innovation Competition. Chicago-based NETEnergy is a thermal energy storage (TES) company.  

The competition was held on November 12 during the Alliance's annual corporate venturing program, Innovation and Strategic Investing Through Corporate Venturing, which featured the Polsinelli Innovation Competition showcase.  BessTech, based in Troy, New York and Pegasus Sustainability Solutions, based in Fitchburgt, Wisconsin, were the runners-up in the competition.

“It was a great honor to win the Polsinelli Innovation Competition, where our company was evaluated by experts in energy, manufacturing and investment," said Mike Pintar, NETenergy's Chief Operating Officer.  "The competition provided us with excellent feedback and an opportunity to connect with professionals and investors in the Midwest. We look forward to building upon our success at the Polsinelli Innovation Competition as we work towards our goal of reducing energy consumption and providing significant savings for building owners and utilities.”
L to R: Winner of the 2015 Polsinelli Innovation Competition, Mike Pintar, Chief Operating Officer, NETenergy, being congratulated by Tony Nasharr, Shareholder, Polsinelli.
NETenergy, based in Chicago, IL, is a thermal energy storage (TES) company.  NETenergy’s TES module works like a battery, except it stores “cold energy.” It integrates with small commercial building air conditioning systems to shift energy demand and consumption from on-peak to off-peak hours.  By utilizing NETenergy’s Thermal Energy Storage (TES) module, building owners can save 30% or more on their energy usage and reduce carbon emissions by 50%.​  The company is also the recent winner of the Clean Energy Challenge $100,000 Pritzker Prize. 

“We were all deeply impressed with what Mike and Said had to say,” says Polsinelli Chicago managing director Anthony Nasharr. “They took a very business-minded approach to creating the most valuable application of this technology.” 

The first runner-up, BessTech, based in Troy, NY, is a lithium-ion component design and engineering company, delivering design solutions to battery manufacturers and assemblers. Our business model is fabless, reducing the need for high capital costs for scale up. Our first product is a silicon-based nanoengineered anode for lithium ion battery systems. For our customers who are battery assemblers, this means that they can reduce manufacturing costs and at the same time producing batteries that charge faster, have longer times between charging, increased lifetimes, and decreased weight.

Second runner-up, Pegasus Sustainability Solutions, based in Fitchburg, WI, creates a dynamic market in the environmental services industry.  Pegasus harvests demand for environmental services such as hazardous waste management, environmental remediation and emergency spill response, primarily utilizing contemporary inbound marketing tools and techniques.  It then screens and qualifies the inbound opportunities to ensure that they are valid and timely. The validated opportunities are then transferred into our proprietary fulfillment engine, known as Pegex.  Pegex is a sorting and bidding platform that allows service providers to bid on opportunities are interesting.

Rounding out the top five competition finalists were two additional companies: 

AD Up Energy, a Lincolnwood, IL company founded by Argonne inventors, which uses a sustainable additive technology (biochar) to close the loop on resource utilization.  AD Up Energy partners with food waste generators to produce renewable natural gas and organic fertilizer.  The company avoids capital investments and produces natural gas from a low-grade biogas. Partners receive value from debottlenecking waste management, sales of natural gas and fertilizer, and renewable fuel credits. AD Up Energy profits in the price of the additive. 

Seeonic, based in Plymouth, MN, provides unparalleled inventory visibility for better business decisions. The company's technology allows customers to more optimally control inventory in retail stores, hospitals and other locations where the level of inventory is critical to meeting demand. Seeonic's patented technology runs autonomously, requires no power or IT infrastructure and delivers the inventory results via the Cloud on any authorized browser.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition is a preeminent venue for entrepreneurs to present venture-ready business ideas to 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 sponsored by Polsinelli and valued at $10,000, but also for opportunities to explore licensing and funding, network with investors and help their ideas become reality.  

Entries in the competition were required to provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community, food and agriculture, manufacturing and industrial, water, logistics and sustainable distribution. Those 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 Polsinelli Innovation Competition is presented by the Global Midwest Alliance and sponsored by the law firm of Polsinelli.

About Our Sponsors
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with 750 attorneys in 18 offices, serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals nationally. Ranked in the top five percent of law firms for client service and top five percent of firms for innovating new and valuable services*, the firm has risen more than 100 spots in Am Law’s annual firm ranking over the past six years. Polsinelli attorneys provide practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, and business litigation. Polsinelli attorneys have depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. The firm can be found online at Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP. *BTI Client Service A-Team 2015 and BTI Brand Elite 2015 

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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