Amplified Wind Solutions, a
Cleveland State University
company behind a wind amplification system that can produce up to six times more electricity than a typical wind turbine, won second place and $600 in the student business competition at JumpStart’s Entrepreneur Expo November 13.
The AWS founders are targeting the telecommunications industry. “This system can be placed on top of cell phone towers in remote and urban locations, and be used to power the equipment on site,” explains CEO Niki Zmij. “In today's world, wireless communication is growing explosively and as a result more and more towers are going up in the U.S. and abroad. Each new tower has to be powered.”
Amplified Wind Solutions was founded in February 2012, based on technology invented by Majid Rashidi, chair of CSU’s engineering technology department
. Zmij is working on her MBA. Other company members include Terry Thiele, director of sustainable product strategies at the Lubrizol Corporation
. The team recently added Jon Stehura, financial manager at Laird Technologies
and former CFO of ParkOhio
AWS has two prototypes -- one at CSU and one at Progressive Field
-- and a third prototype in the works that will be the version marketed to the telecommunications industry.
Zmij was so busy at the Entrepreneur Expo that she didn’t sit down all day. “It really helped AWS gain exposure within our community as well as make important connections that will support our business development,” she says, adding that she might have found some investment leads as well. “I did speak with a few individuals in the venture capital space who thought our idea was a compelling one and are interested in learning more about our plans.”
In addition to the $600, AWS has the opportunity to receive mentoring from JumpStart.
“The mentoring alone has an incredible value for our business development,” says Zmij. Student teams from CWRU
and Kent State
were also winners in the competition.
Source: Niki Zmij
Writer: Karin Connelly