Company co-founded by School of Engineering and Technology faculty member and Innovate Indiana Fund competes in Clean Energy Challenge

  • April 1, 2014


INDIANAPOLIS -- Single Switch Systems, a company co-founded last year by a faculty member in the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Innovate Indiana Fund, is among 16 startup companies competing April 3 in the fourth annual Clean Energy Challenge in Chicago.

The companies are vying for several prizes, including the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prize for Clean Energy Entrepreneurship.

The challenge is presented by the Clean Energy Trust, founded by prominent business and civic leaders to fuel clean energy innovation in the Midwest. The trust is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Small Business Administration and donations from more than 70 investors, corporations, universities, foundations and trade groups.

The Innovate Indiana Fund is a $10 million Indianapolis-based venture capital fund that invests in growing Indiana University-affiliated startups. The fund invests in early-stage opportunities and helps its portfolio companies reach commercial success using both infusions of capital and the application of its expertise in company formation.

"Single Switch Systems is a young university start-up with limited resources. It is very important for us to become a finalist in the Clean Energy Challenge,” said Afshin Izadian, an assistant professor at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology and director of the school’s Energy Systems and Power Electronics Laboratory. "This will expedite networking opportunities and industry contacts for our team, which is invaluable at this stage."

 “This allows the company to develop a suitable product and identify strategic approaches to the market. As an inventor and technology developer, I am interested in knowing the needs of industry to build unique products," Izadian said.

The company’s technology was developed in Izadian’s lab and the Innovate Indiana

Fund is commercializing his innovate work. Single Switch Systems is currently in a research and discovery mode, with a prototype nearing completion.

Afshin Izadian

Afshin Izadian

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Richard Schneider