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Battery Inventor Wins Competition


A startup company trying to develop a new type of battery with applications for the RV industry scored a small cash infusion and a big chunk of publicity by winning the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Governor’s Cup on May 23 in Las Vegas.

Dragonfly Energy of Reno, Nev., which was profiled in RV PRO magazine’s eNewsletter in late April, won $30,000 in the competition among business ideas from Nevada, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

“It’s a little bit of cash, which always helps,” said team member Denis Phares. “What we are hoping for is enough exposure to attract some interest among investors to help us work out our technology and start manufacturing here. It’s a baby step in terms of capital, but it could be a big step in terms of exposure.”

In addition to the grand prize for winning the “Graduate” level of the competition, Dragonfly won the opportunity to present a 90-second “elevator pitch” of its business model and an additional $2,000, according to a news release from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dragonfly’s proposal revolves around a process of creating a lithium iron phosphate battery that Phares said he believes can revolutionize not just batteries, but energy storage overall. The battery has potential to replace standard lead-acid batteries in RVs.

Phares said the initial RV PRO article generated some interest in the technology, but what he’s hoping for is that investors will take notice.

“We found the entire experience with Tri-State just an amazing experience,” he said. “It helped us hone our pitch. We presented our plan in front of many judges. We got a lot of feedback and, in the end, I think it made us a stronger company and a safer investment for those who might be interested.”

Next up for Dragonfly is the Western Region competition for the Cleantech Open. Cleantech Open is a not-for-profit organization that runs a business accelerator for clean technology startup companies. The event is set for the end of June in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For more information about Dragonfly Energy, visit www.dragonflyenergy.net.

To read the original RV PRO story about Dragonfly, click here.

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