Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will join a top lineup of speakers Thursday for the launch event of the TechUnited: New Jersey BetterPlanet $50K Challenge, the organization announced.
The announcement, being held in conjunction with Earth Day, will be held virtually at noon.
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The event will feature Gov. Phil Murphy, Public Service Enterprise Group Chair and CEO Ralph Izzo, TechUnited CEO Aaron Price as well as BlackRock President Robert Kapito and WexEnergy CEO Rachel Rosen. All will speak on the state of innovation.
The panel also will issue this year’s challenge statement — the guidelines for this year’s event. The winner will be announced during the 2021 Propelify Festival, scheduled to be held Oct. 4-8.
Last year, WexEnergy took home the top prize.
The TechUnited BetterPlanet Challenge is part of TechUnited’s larger BetterPlanet program, focused on building a better future for all through clean energy innovation.
“I’m thrilled to be announcing the 2nd annual TechUnited BetterPlanet Challenge,” Price said. “Not only are we excited to be directly supporting innovative startups in New Jersey, but we’re focusing on ensuring that a better future for all is available to all.
“With the support and guidance of our BetterPlanet program founding sponsor, PSEG, we’re all looking forward to driving a clean energy future.”
Murphy said he hopes the challenge will lead to the type of breakthroughs in the state he has long imagined.
“TechUnited’s BetterPlanet program represents exactly the kind of partnership I believe will accelerate New Jersey’s innovation economy,” he said. “The BetterPlanet Challenge will not only foster startups that address energy usage and energy equity, but it also will help us in creating the workforce of tomorrow.”
TechUnited:NJ is a membership nonprofit organization that offers opportunities for technology and tech-enabled companies and entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate and grow to propel the future of New Jersey and beyond. Currently, over 500,000 innovators belong to the organization.