EnergyTech University Prize
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging student teams to compete for more than $400,000 in cash prizes as they successfully identify a promising energy technology, assess its market potential, and create a business plan for commercialization.
About the Prize
EnergyTech UP aims to cultivate the next generation of energy innovators while accelerating the transfer of energy technologies to market. This prize seeks to attract the talented students of today and help them develop into the engineers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, market analysts, and project developers of tomorrow. Multidisciplinary student teams develop and present a business plan that leverages National Laboratory-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, including university-developed technologies or other technologies of interest to student competitors.
This prize is sponsored by DOE’s OTT, as well as several other program offices. EnergyTech UP, in partnership with American-Made Challenges, is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide. Winners are chosen based on the strength of their business proposal. Participating students are provided with a curated list of National Lab technologies that are ready for commercialization and that can be used for their business plan.
Prize Structure for Student Competitors
Student teams compete for more than $400,000 in cash prizes as they explore business opportunities for lab-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, assess commercialization opportunities through market analysis and present a viable business plan to industry judges. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed.
Understanding that energy is often inherently local, competitor teams first present at their designated regional events in February, where regional finalists are identified. Teams that are invited to participate in the regional events receive free access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum. Finalists are provided exclusive mentorship to help students refine their ideas throughout February and March. Finally, the finalists pitch their complete business plan as part of Zpryme's 2024 Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas on April 15, 2024.
Understanding that energy is often inherently local, competitor teams first present at their designated regional events in February, where regional winners are identified. Teams that are invited to participate in the regional events receive free access to OTT's Energy I-Corps curriculum. First-place regional winners are provided exclusive mentorship to help students refine their ideas throughout February and March. Finally, the regional winners pitch their complete business plan at a live industry event in April.
New: Faculty Track
Starting in 2024, EnergyTech UP offers a new track for collegiate faculty members. The faculty track is designed for educators who may benefit from mentorship and resources to create an implementation plan for their blossoming ideas for integrating or expanding energy technology commercialization or entrepreneurship activities at their home institution.
Faculty (or faculty teams) will compete for part of the $100,000 prize pool through three phases of competition. They will develop a proposal to expand energy technology commercialization or entrepreneurship activities at their home institution; receive access to a DOE mentor and DOE resources; and work toward showing how their plans could be integrated into student activities.
2024 Important Dates
Please see the official timeline in HeroX for the most current schedule of events. All dates are subject to change, including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements.
Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.
Solutions that Help Shape the Future
Are you a collegiate student interested in transitioning energy technologies to market or a faculty member who has an idea to help students learn about energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship? The EnergyTech University Prize is for you!Follow the Challenge