Lexington, Mass. — May 29, 2008 — MIT spin-off 1366 Technologies is the winner of a startup competition at Greentech Media’s PV Annual 2008 conference near Boston.

On Wednesday, panelists Jeff Andrews (Atlas Venture), Rob Day (@Ventures) and Jay Fiske (Massachusetts Green Energy Fund) named 1366 as the most promising of five solar startups that presented their technologies and business plans at the conference.

The company is focused on commercializing recent technologies developed by Professor Ely Sachs, from MIT. Professor Sach’s cell architecture takes the workhorse multicrystalline silicon solar cell (the dominant solar cell technology) and increases its efficiency by 25%. The novel manufacturing techniques are cost-neutral, meaning that the full efficiency gain is reflected in reduced manufacturing cost per watt of solar cell.

The company raised $12 million in December from Polaris Venture Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. Frank van Mierlo, 1366 President and co-founder, said that 1366 will spend a significant portion of the money outfitting a pilot fabrication line in Lexington. In a clear sign of commitment, company employees have invested another $500,000.

“1366 Technologies’ goal is to make solar generation as cheap as coal-based energy by 2013,” said Dr. Adam Lorenz, another founding member of the company. He emphasized that 1366 is enhancing and improving a manufacturing process that will make solar energy widely affordable to the masses. “We intend to take full advantage of the existing infrastructure that supports the manufacture of silicon solar cells. Except for a few key steps, our plants will use standard, commercially available processing equipment”.

An earlier product, a busbar wire that allows solar cells to capture more light, has been licensed to metal-product makers Ulbrich in Connecticut and Schlenk in Germany.

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