Entrepreneurs competed to help create a green economy in the Southern Tier.
Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced the winners of the the third annual 76 West Clean Energy Competition.
Rochester based Ekostinger won this year’s $1 million grand prize.
EkoStinger creates an aerodynamic device that goes under tractor trailers to reduce emissions and save fuel.
Founder and CEO Parr Wiegel says his product saves companies six percent in fuel costs, reduces mist by seventy percent and also keeps brakes from icing over so they last longer.
The company’s clients include Pepsi, Wegmans, Raymour and Flanigan and they are in talks with Amazon.
Wiegel says this funding will provide EkoStinger with what it needs to continue to expand in the Southern Tier.
“It’s tremendous, it’s going to allow us to bring in a few more sales people, it’s going to allow us to build our facility in Elmira which will be doing all of our aluminum work for underneath the trailers. We’ll be able to expand quicker then we ever possibly could have,” he said.
Wiegel says he expects to hire twelve people to run the Elmira facility immediately and hopes that number will reach twenty-two next year and continue to grow from there.
There was also a $500,000 second prize along with four other $250,000 prizes awarded including one to a Dublin, Ireland company.