FireBee, a student team at the University of Washington mentored by the Hydrobee founders, won both the $15,000 Grand Prize and the $5,000 Clean Energy Prize on April 2  in the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. FireBee has developed an alternative energy source for people who live off the grid. The portable thermoelectric generator turns third-world cooking fires into personal power stations for charging small electronics and other low-power uses.

      Firebee team at UW Enviro Innovation Challenge 2 (6) (Small)      Firebee Team at UW Enviro Innovation Challenge (4)

The Firebee team developed and built a new design to convert heat from an African cookstove into USB power.  The “Obamastove” was created by Yusuf Tura in Ethiopia.  His company, Green Energy Without Borders, has sold over 250,000 stoves.  Ethiopia has over 90 million people, almost all of whom cook with charcoal or wood fires.  ​Yusuf Tura has placed a contingent purchase order with the Firebee team for 200 Firebee chargers he will test with his customers.

The Firebee team won the Clean Energy prize of $5000, and the Grand Prize of $15,000, beating 21 other student teams from 7 universities.  The Grand Prize winner was selected by vote of 168 judges who are leaders in the Seattle cleantech and venture community.

Download the Press Release  Hydrobee PR – Wins Enviro Innovation Challenge