How to Compete in the American-Made Solar Prize
There are multiple Solar Prizes in progress—each with $3 million in cash prizes and a chance to innovate and win with the support and expertise of the national labs, incubators, investors, facilities, and seasoned industry mentors in the American-Made Network.
A Prize Competition Structured for Success
Competitors in each Solar Prize participate in three progressive prize competitions: the Ready!, Set!, and Go! Contests.
These Contests fast-track efforts to identify, develop, and test disruptive solutions for a total of $3 million in cash prizes and up to $900,000 in vouchers, which can be used at national laboratories and other voucher facilities to develop, test, and validate. Each stage will have a 90-day performance period when participants work to advance their solutions.
Throughout each Solar Prize, competitors receive support from the American-Made Network . These members provide technical insight, product validation, and mentoring, access to facilities, and other critical resources competitors need to succeed.
The Ready!, Set!, and Go! Contests
The Ready! Set! Go! Contests fast-track efforts to identify, develop, and test disruptive solutions to solar industry needs for a total of $3 million in cash prizes.
Competitors can also win a total of $900,000 in vouchers, which can be used at national laboratories and other fabrication facilities to test and validate competitor solutions. Each stage will have a 90-day performance period to advance solutions.
|Ready!||Up to 20||Up to $1,000,000 distributed equally among each winner with $50,000 per winner.|
|Set!||Up to 10||$1,000,000 in total cash prizes and $750,000 in total vouchers. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $100,000 and up to $75,000 in vouchers|
|Go!||Up to 2||$500,000 in cash prizes and up to $75,000 in vouchers per winner|
Ready! Contest ($50,000 prize per winner): Winners will be selected after identifying an impactful idea or solution addressing a critical need in the solar industry and will then be eligible to compete in the Set! Contest. Anyone can submit a package to compete in the Ready! Contest. A panel of expert reviewers from industry, national labs, and government will evaluate submissions.
Set! Contest ($100,000 prize and up to $75,000 in vouchers per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their technology solution toward a viable and promising proof of concept. Winners will be evaluated by a panel of judges after a live demo day event and will then be eligible to compete in the Go! Contest.
Go! Contest ($500,000 prize and up to $75,000 in vouchers per winner): Competitors will work to substantially advance their solution from proof of concept to a refined prototype and ¬ find a partner to perform a pilot test of the prototype. Winners will again be evaluated by a panel of judges after a live demo day event.
Which Track is Right for You?
The Hardware Track and Software Track follow the same three-contest structure but compete for separate prizes. Participants have the chance to win millions in cash prizes, support vouchers, and other resources to help them advance in the competition and accelerate the development of their solutions.
The Software Track is a software prize that includes optional additional challenges that focus on advancing solar in underserved communities. Participants who choose to incorporate this initiative into their solutions have the chance to be considered for a new Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Contest and a bonus cash prize!
Anyone Can Compete
Competitors are entrepreneurial individuals or teams legally residing or based in the United States. Competitors can be individuals of one or multiple organizations, students, university faculty members, small business owners, researchers, or anyone with the desire and drive to transform an idea into an impactful solution.
How to Compete in the Ready! Contest
- Identify an important problem you want to solve
- Submit a 90-second video describing your challenge and proposed solution, team, and plan
- Answer a short, four-question narrative and make a slide about this problem or challenge
- Submit a two-page technical assistance request
- Update your videos and statements as you advance through the contests.
The Solar Prize is currently closed for new applicants, follow the competition to learn about potential future opportunities