For Immediate Release/ March 29, 2006
Contact: Michael Dorsey

WORCESTER, Mass., March 29, 2006 - - A team consisting of three students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and one from Suffolk University has been chosen to compete in the semifinals of the second annual Ignite Clean Energy Business Presentation Competition hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Energy Special Interest Group. The team is one of 29 semifinalists, selected from a pool of nearly 40 teams that proposed to develop clean energy businesses in Massachusetts.

The WPI/Suffolk team, known as the BiOctane Team, consists of WPI students Ormar Pinango '06, a manufacturing engineering major from Miami, Fla., Rachel Robillard '07, a biology and biotechnology major from Lake George, N.Y., and Sean Sherriff '06, a mechanical engineering major from Lindehurst, N.Y., along with Suffolk students Henry Loud '06. They propose to design and develop a co-generation biodiesel and ethanol refinery that employs environmentally conscious manufacturing practices and a strategic distribution model. The plant would represent a pioneering approach to biofuel production.

The Ignite Clean Energy Competition is designed "to develop the next generation of businesses selling clean, renewable, or efficient energy technologies and services, and to spur the entrepreneurial activities that will bring these to market," according to a news release from the organizers. It offers a series of networking, team-building, training, and mentoring opportunities that culminate in a competition for the best investor presentations, with awards totaling $125,000.

The semifinalists were chosen by a screening committee led by Jonathan Klavens of Bernstein, Cushner & Kimmell, P.C. The semifinals will be held at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where panels of industry expert judges will review the teams' business proposals. Up to 10 semifinalists will be selected to compete in the finals at 4:30 p.m. on May 9 at the MIT Stata Center. The event is free and open to the public

About the Ignite Clean Energy Competition

The competition seeks to help new business leaders create a compelling story for raising funds from government, angel, and venture capital investors; teach entrepreneurs superior presentation skills; and encourage networking among participants and industry leaders. It is sponsored by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Foley Hoag, Mintz Levin, UMass Lowell's Commercial Venture Development, Cummings Properties, Rich May Law, Maniv Energy Capital, BusinessWire, and Constellation NewEnergy. For more information, visit www.IgniteCleanEnergy.com or call 508-698-6810.

About WPI

Founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one of the nation's first and leading scientific, engineering and technological universities. Its 18 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, and nanotechnology.