EPIC Prize


Design It! Phase Winners

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has named the semifinalists in the American-Made Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Round 2. Twenty incubators and accelerators across the country were each awarded $50,000 in cash prizes for their high-impact ideas that support energy start-ups and entrepreneurs.

These competitors represent a wide range of geographies, from Appalachia to Silicon Valley, and technology focus areas including the built environment, storage, food security, manufacturing, solar, workforce training, the blue economy, carbon reduction, and more.

Map of the American-Made Challenges Epic Prize Round 2 winners.


Accelerating the Underestimated and the Overlooked,
Austell, Georgia

GPV Solutions is supporting underestimated and overlooked founders to provide solutions for the built-environment in disadvantaged communities through a pilot program at Florida Memorial University.

BlueSwell ‐ Broadening Blue Entrepreneurship,
Cambridge, Massachusetts

BlueSwell is developing an incubator program that supports blue technology entrepreneurs with a more diverse audience of potential founders in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

ClimateHaven: A New Haven for New Innovation,
New Haven, Connecticut

ClimateHaven is leveraging regional strengths in manufacturing and scientific research in southern Connecticut to incubate new hard-tech focused ventures.

Connecting Climatetech & Community through Pilots,
Burlington, Vermont

IoT Conduit's Technology Partner Program supports entrepreneurs through pilot demonstrations of their technology in a living lab in Vermont.

Imani Works' Hard-Tech Community Incubator,
Chicago, Illinois

Imani Works is supporting African-American entrepreneurs to ensure that green hard-tech manufacturing is located in disadvantaged communities in Chicago.

LabStart: Accessibility to Lab IP Entrepreneurship,
Golden, Colorado

LabStart is helping diverse engineers launch clean energy start-ups based on technology from DOE National Laboratories.

Low-Carbon Mass Deployment Accelerator,
Charleston, West Virginia

Leveraging Appalachia’s skilled workforce and infrastructure, ADL Ventures and their partners are developing a low-carbon mass deployment accelerator for construction hard-tech innovation.

Positive Deviancy's Embryia Solar Accelerator,
Sterling, Virginia

Positive Deviancy's Embryia Solar Accelerator Program supports early stage solar hard-tech entrepreneurs across the United States.

REACHing Energy, Food, & Water Ventures,
Ft. Collins, Colorado

REACH is providing a dedicated accelerator to support founders at the nexus of food, energy, and water in the Rocky Mountains Great Plains region.

Xcelerating Black Building Tech ,
Portland, Oregon

Northwest Xcelerator and its partners are supporting black and underserved entrepreneurs in the creating of energy-related building technology start-ups in Oregon.


Black and Veatch's IgniteX Climate Tech Accelerator,
Overland Park, Kansas

Black & Veatch is accelerating hard-technologies capable of significant carbon reduction and increased diversity in the energy innovation ecosystem.

Clean Energy Technology Transfer,
Stony Brook, New York

This program is coordinating energy-relevant hard-tech IP portfolio development across National Labs and universities.

Energizing the Blue Economy,
San Pedro, California

Braid Theory's program engages entrepreneurs with industry to advance marine energy and blue economy solutions into the market.

Energy and Mobility Innovation in Detroit,
Hadley, MA | Detroit, MI

VentureWell is parting with TechTown Detroit to support hard-tech start-ups in business model and financial model validation.

Manufacturing Expertise-In-Residence,
Somerville, Massachusetts

FORGE will leverage experts in residence with domain knowledge to provide additive, special manufacturing-focused support to start-ups.

New Energy New York Charge Up,
Binghamton, New York

The Koffman Incubator is delivering a complementary bootcamp and microgrant program to address major gap areas for energy storage startups.

PowerNorth Incubator,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Grid Catalyst is matching energy start-ups with regional corporate partnerships for product refinement and accelerated market entry specifically around cold climate challenges.

Scalable Energy Testbed Project,
La Cruces, New Mexico

The Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University is establishing a utility-scale testbed for solar, wind, and geothermal technologies.

Structured Sales Support Program,
Chicago, Illinois

Evergreen Climate Innovations is providing sales training to diverse founds, addressing the lack of training and resources in this space that is common with energy hard tech founders.

Transportation Energy Nexus Innovation Program,
Los Angeles, California

LACI's program supports start-ups with combined hardware and software systems that deliver integrated solar, storage, and charging solutions.

Bonus Prize Winners

The following incubators each received $50,000 for supporting start-ups in water power, buildings technologies, solar, wind, and nuclear energy.

Water Power

Founder Mentorship Program,
Miami, Florida

The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides.

The Seaworthy Foundation is supporting diverse early-stage start-ups working in global ocean and climate startups. Its activities enabling entrepreneurship in the blue economy are noteworthy and will accelerate company growth by supporting commercialization of water power technologies while increasing connectivity and collaboration between relevant stakeholders.

Building Technologies

Low-Carbon Mass Deployment,
Charleston, West Virginia

Xcelerating Black Building Tech Startups,
Portland, Oregon

The Building Technologies Office (BTO) focuses on developing innovative technologies that advance energy and carbon reduction, high-efficiency operation, and smart systematic control of the built environment while enabling grid interactivity and interoperability.

Both BTO bonus prize winners have deep expertise in the buildings space and their respective regions have strong potential. They are poised to achieve significant improvements in the built environment by addressing specific commercial barriers of their technology area.

Solar Energy

Regional Innovation Start-Up Studio,
Surprize, Arizona

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) supports innovative hardware technologies that can improve the performance, affordability, reliability, and value of solar systems on the U.S. grid and to tackle emerging challenges in the solar industry.

Pegasus Technology is building a start-up studio that helps build new solar hard-tech companies from research conducted at university labs. Their start-up studio model is an effective way to connect researchers who are developing innovative technologies with experienced entrepreneurs and help rapidly develop the start-up with fewer setbacks caused from inexperience founders.

Wind Energy

ARIEL Offshore Energy Innovation Program,
Norfolk, Virginia

The Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) enables the innovations needed to advance U.S. wind systems, reduce the cost of electricity, and accelerate the deployment of wind power.

Through the ARIEL program, OpenSeas Technology Innovation Hub is creating a dedicated program aimed at renewable ocean energy, starting with offshore wind.

Nuclear Power

Spark Virginia,
Ashland, Virginia

The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) mission is to advance nuclear energy science and technology to meet U.S. energy, environmental, and economic needs.

Dominion Energy Innovation Center is making it safer and easier to build, generate, transmit, and consume nuclear and hydrogen energy in Virginia and beyond.

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.

View the Phase Two submissions on HeroX