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New Startup Competition Looks to Save Energy

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Eastern Foundry background that will be used during competition(Updated Nov. 24 at 4:55 p.m.) A startup competition hosted by an Arlington incubator is accepting applications for the best services or products for energy conservation.

Eastern Foundry, a startup incubator in Crystal City that focuses on government contracting, is holding the Foundry Cup. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 15 with finalists announced on Feb. 1.

For its second cup, the incubator is focusing on energy conservation and is looking for commercial products that are environmentally-conscious and relatively inexpensive.

“The competition is focused on advancing solutions that allow individuals to generate, store and conserve power,” said Jill Melnicki, a spokeswoman for Eastern Foundry. “Any or all of these solutions will reduce the carbon footprint, as well as decrease government spending and save and improve lives.”

According to Melnicki, the U.S. government uses more than 12.6 million gallons of oil a day in the U.S. and spends at least $14 billion on fuel.

“The challenge was designed in consultation with experts from the U.S. Government and Washington area think tanks who identified portable power as one of our government’s most pressing needs and one of the areas in which the private sector could provide a tremendous help,” she said.

Eastern Foundry is specifically looking for innovative products that help soldiers, such as a way to keep a radio on longer, she said. Eastern Foundry founder Geoff Orazem is a veteran.

“Eastern Foundry is hoping to see game-changing approaches to versatile, go-anywhere power sources that are long lasting and durable to meet the needs of the American soldier,” Melnicki said. “Solutions that will make his radio lighter and keep it charged longer. Solutions that will keep her laptop and mobile phone working. Solutions that will keep their base cool in the desert sun and resupplied by a fuel truck less often.”

The winner of the competition will get the chance to work with NSTXL, a company that helps speed the process for working with the federal government. Working with the company will allow the startups to turn its product idea into a reality quicker.

Eastern Foundry is also planning to connect winners with Arsenal Venture Partners, which works with areas of the Department of the Defense dedicated to energy conservation.

The competition is not the first time Eastern Foundry has turned its attention to energy. One of the startups in its incubator, Alytic Technology, works to come up with solutions to help the Navy conserve power.

The incubator partners with multiple energy conservation companies including E2 and Operation Free.

The competition this spring will be 48 hours, with time for networking, Melnicki said.

“Eastern Foundry is looking for a great power generation, storage or conservation concept,” she said. “Maybe a soldier portable solar or wind capability, a system to allow bases to turn their trash into power, advanced batteries that support operational flexibility, or a solution that lets one volt of energy do twice as much.”

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