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Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Round 2 logo

Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Round 2

The American-Made EPIC Prize Round 2 is designed to incentivize regional incubators that implement high-impact ideas to support energy startups and entrepreneurs. The development of regional energy innovation ecosystems is foundational to the development of clean energy jobs, a strong U.S. supply chain, and the entire innovation life cycle.

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Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize

The Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize recognizes the nation’s most innovative incubators. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), the EPIC Prize awards cash prizes to regional incubator teams that submit the most creative and impactful plans, then implement those plans to develop strong clusters, connections, and support for energy startups and entrepreneurs.

Technology startups often require more than just capital to launch, grow, and scale innovations. Incubators provide entrepreneurs mentorship, technology validation, business development, connections to manufacturers, and more to strengthen the America’s clean energy future. The prize seeks to address a capital gap in supporting these critical organizations by providing funds to be applied where incubators need them most. Providing capital to enable creative, forward-thinking organizations is critical to allow these groups to think more expansively about the role of incubators in the broader regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Illustrated image of a silicon chip.

Prize Structure

Core to the EPIC Prize Round 2 is the incubator program, which consists of three phases:

  • Design It!
  • Move It!
  • Prove It!

OTT has also partnered with three other program offices to date to provide Bonus Prizes. In addition to the $4 million in Core Incubator Prize funding, $50,000 Bonus Prizes will be available for incubators supporting water power and/or the blue economy, buildings technologies, and solar technologies.

The Move It! and Prove It! phases will include a pitch competition in which incubators can nominate energy startups for a chance to win up to $50,000.

Graphic of the American-Made Challenges EPIC Prize framework; Design It!, Move It!, & Prove It!

Important Dates

  • Design It!

    • Submission opens: Aug. 2, 2022
    • Submission deadline: Oct. 25, 2022
  • Move It!

    • Submission opens: Dec. 2022 (anticipated)
    • Submission deadline: April 2023 (anticipated)
  • Prove It!

    • Submission opens: May 2023 (anticipated)
    • Submission deadline: Oct. 2023 (anticipated)

Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.

All dates are subject to change.

Who is Eligible to Compete?

OTT welcomes incubator organizations that aid in the development of new business ventures, business accelerators, co-working start-up communities, or any other organizations that self-identify as advocates for innovation and entrepreneurship to compete in EPIC. The competition is open to private organizations (for-profits and nonprofits), nonfederal government entities (such as states, counties, tribes, and municipalities), and academic institutions that meet all eligibility requirements. For more information, review the official prize rules.

a graphic illustration of silicon chip with the EPIC Prize text overlaid above it.

Solutions that help shape the future

Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, facility or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can help promote transformation by participating in the American-Made Challenges.

Ready for the Challenge?