The American-Made Solar Prize Network


The American-Made Network helps to accelerate and sustain solar innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, investors, facilities and and other valuable industry partners from across the United States who engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of Solar Prize competitors.

Explore the network map

American-Made Network members work with Solar Prize competitors, offering resources and support at every stage of the competition. Network members serve as either a Power Connector orConnector, each with a unique set of support skills. All American-Made Network members are incentivized to help competitors succeed through Recognition Rewards and vouchers that competitors use at facilities and national labs.

The Network helps competitors solve pressing technology challenges, forge connections, and advance potentially game-changing ideas and innovations. It also leverages highly specialized skills, tools, and expertise to strengthen and scale critical connections to support the progress and success of competitors.


National labs, accelerators, incubators, universities, industry organizations, and other entities who help competitors navigate the the innovation process are called Connectors. Connectors recruit entrepreneurs to participate in the Solar Prize and provide the support, resources, and necessary connections needed to succeed in the competition.

The Solar Prize offers Connectors incentives to help competitors succeed. Connectors are eligible to win Recognition Rewards for a variety of activities, including:

  • Attracting a diverse range of talented individuals to become contest competitors;
  • Helping competitors refine their innovations, develop business plans, and connect competitors with investors and industry partners;
  • Raising non-federal funding to support this program and its participants;
  • Providing in-kind resources, tools, and facilities to accelerate competitors’ abilities to innovate, test, and refine solutions while reducing technology and business risks; and
  • Connecting competitors to regional prototyping and manufacturing expertise, facilities, and experts.

Connectors who support participants that go on to win any of the Ready!, Set!, or Go! Contests can earn monetary Recognition Rewards. Amounts vary by round, track, and contest.See the full Connector Guidelines for more details

Solar Prize Round 8 Connector Guidelines

Become a Connector

We are continually adding expertise and resources to the Network.

Join the American-Made Network as a Connector

Power Connectors

Power Connectors are a core group of national labs, accelerators, incubators, universities, industry organizations, and other entities who further develop and sustain the program. They substantially help teams achieve project success, build long-term alliances and capabilities for the program, host demo days, and partner with NREL to envision and execute a long-term sustainable strategy for scaling the American-Made Challenges.

Learn about our Power Connectors


In addition to cash prizes, at the end Set! and Go! demonstration days, finalists and winners will receive support vouchers that can be used at participating facilities in the American-Made Network. Competitors will then use vouchers to access tools and experts that can help them further develop, test, and validate solutions.

Registered national labs, Connectors, and Power Connectors can access competitors’ technical assistance requests and be invited to submit a single PowerPoint slide proposal for work that could be performed to help Set! and Go! Contest winners advance their concepts via development, fabrication, testing, validation, or other capabilities and expertise.

View the Voucher Guidelines