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EnergyTech University Prize

Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy, the American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), where student teams compete for cash prizes for successfully identifying a promising energy technology, assessing its market potential, and creating a business plan for commercialization.

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In March 2022, the first cohort of EnergyTech UP winners was announced. Another round of the competition is occurring during the 2022-2023 academic year. Follow EnergyTech UP for updates

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.

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This prize is sponsored by OTT at the U.S. Department of Energy, 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

Student teams compete for 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.

The top teams compete for a share of $100,000 in prizes funded by OTT. In addition, several DOE Technology Offices offer $25,000 bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields.

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.

2023 Important Dates

  • May 10, 2022: EnergyTech UP 2023 launches and Explore Phase opens
  • Jan. 26, 2023: Team registration deadline
  • Feb. 9, 2023: Participating teams announced
  • Feb. 13, 2023: Regional Explore Events
  • March 2022: Refine Phase closes
  • March 7, 2023: Announce Regional Winners and Technology Bonus Prize Winners
  • April 3, 2023: Final National Competition at Zpryme Energy Thought Summit and announce winners

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements.

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Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a collegiate student interested in transitioning energy technologies to market? The EnergyTech University Prize is for you!

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