In January, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Ginsberg-Klemmt’s portable, solar-powered vehicle carport as one of 20 Hardware Track semifinalists in the American-Made Solar Prize Round 5 Contest. The recognition came with a $50,000 grant for further development of the invention and the opportunity for a $100,000 award if selected for the next stage of the competition. In late April, Ginsberg-Klemmt and her team were awarded that $100,000, and they are now competing for the $500,000 final prize (which will be announced in September).
“I’m so incredibly honored and thrilled beyond words about how far this project has come since we started,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said.
The latest $100,000 award greatly accelerates GismoPower’s next steps by providing the funding for Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) testing with Sandia Distributed Energy Technologies Lab; design review from engineers at Intertek; shipping and travel of the system to the testing locations; and initiating factory-based manufacturing design with Brownlie Design and Mercury Aircraft.
And there’s still a way to go. So, what is Ginsberg-Klemmt currently doing to earn the half-million in September? Upping her game.
Only two of the 10 Hardware Track teams selected as semifinalists will snag this final prize. To increase her chances, Ginsberg-Klemmt has been working with film students from Ringling College of Art and Design on a stellar video submission for GismoPower.
“The Ringling students are animating and creating a virtual reality (VR) experience of GismoPower’s Mobile Electricity Generating Appliance—or what I like to call ‘MEGA Gismo’—for their senior thesis project,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said. “This VR experience will teach users how to assemble and move the system around, and how to collapse the system for safely moving it into a garage in case of dangerous weather conditions.”
The Ringling students are even planning to animate a hologram of “Gismo Girl” that Ginsberg-Klemmt will narrate (this will help guide the GismoPower user throughout the process).
“I believe that this VR project will be one of, if not the first, Cross College Alliance collaborative thesis projects,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said, stressing the joint effort between New College and Ringling College students.
Ginsberg-Klemmt is currently double majoring in physics and environmental studies at New College, and she is a 2018 graduate of Pine View School in Sarasota County. The entrepreneurial Ginsberg-Klemmt is no stranger to earning major awards.
In May 2021, Ginsberg-Klemmt was chosen out of thousands of applicants countrywide as an OZY Genius Award recipient for GismoPower. The $10,000 annual honor is awarded to 10 college students pursuing “projects or ideas that have a positive impact on society.” Ginsberg-Klemmt also received a VentureWell E-Team Grant of $5,000 in recognition of the potential of GismoPower to create a positive social, health or environmental impact.
Beyond inventing, Ginsberg-Klemmt is also the founder and captain of New Crew SRQ, which became the first multi-school collegiate rowing team on the Suncoast in March 2021. Ginsberg-Klemmt is now working toward a second bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and plans to graduate from New College in Spring 2023.
“I’m so excited for the future of GismoPower,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said. “And I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
For more information on Ginsberg-Klemmt and GismoPower, read ncf.edu/news/news/ncf-student-named-a-2021-ozy-genius. Also visit gismopower.com and watch a video about the project here.
Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.