Wells Fargo Announces Three-Year, $450,000 Grant to Support Clean Energy Entrepreneurship at McCombs School of Business

March 26, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — As part of its national environmental grant program, Wells Fargo today announced that it has provided a three-year grant totaling $450,000 to the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin that will allow the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs (TVL) to further develop the Clean Energy track started last year with an initial grant from Wells Fargo.

The new grant will increase the prize money for the Clean Energy prize at the 2013 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition (GVLIC) from $10,000 to $20,000. The competition brings together graduate students from universities around the globe each May to pitch their business plans to panels of investors who select the best new-venture opportunity. With aspiring entrepreneurs soliciting startup funds from experienced investors, the competition simulates the real-world process of raising venture capital.

Last year’s inaugural Wells Fargo Clean Energy Prize winner was a team from Thammasat University in Thailand whose startup, Paramaxx, has a proprietary technology that can extract valuable natural minerals such as magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus from industrial waste.

The annual competition is sponsored by Texas Venture Labs, which also offers graduate students in business, law, engineering and natural sciences an opportunity to get hands-on experience assisting startup businesses. A new group of startups is recruited for Texas Venture Labs each semester, and the Wells Fargo grant will support the recruitment of startups focused on improving energy efficiency, innovating energy delivery and offering energy from alternative fuels, for both residential and commercial energy sectors.

“We’re pleased that Wells Fargo is increasing their commitment to the Clean Energy track,” said Rob Adams, director of the Texas Venture Labs, which sponsors the investment competition. “Wells Fargo’s commitment to renewable energy and entrepreneurial endeavors in this rapidly growing sector are of real value to the companies raising money through the Venture Labs process.”

“Our sponsorship pairs two of our priorities: education and technology. It’s impressive to be directly involved with these brilliant students from all over the world throughout the competition not only as sponsors but also as mentors and business experts,” said Doug Mangum, who spearheads Wells Fargo’s technology and clean technology practice in Austin.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com) and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 275,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves 1 in 3 households in America.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all its customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

About the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin

The highest ranked business school in Texas and the Southwest, and a top-ranked research institution, the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to educating the business leaders of tomorrow while creating knowledge for industry and society.  McCombs educates more than 6,000 undergraduate, MBA, MPA and Ph.D. students each year, creating one of the largest cumulative impacts of any business school in the world. About 2,000 professionals also participate each year in custom programs designed for working executives and their firms. McCombs is one of the few business schools in the country to receive top marks in nearly all the business specialty areas ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report — at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

For more information, contact: Renee Hopkins; Helen K. Bow, Wells Fargo, 713-319-1752 or helen.k.bow@wellsfargo.com.