How to Compete in the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize


The Perovskite Startup Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers will launch a company and move toward commercialization in under a year.


A Prize Competition Structured for Success


Participants in the Perovskite Startup Prize compete in two consecutive contests that accelerate efforts to develop new, innovative perovskite solar companies with the potential to manufacture commercially viable products in the United States. The best-performing competitors in the Countdown Contest are awarded with cash prizes and are eligible to compete in the Liftoff Contest. This cycle of contests repeats until 2-3 final winners are selected for successfully completing the challenge.


The total prize pool for these two contests is $3 million. Winners will receive up to $700,000 in cash prizes and $100,000 in technical support vouchers. These support vouchers can be used at national laboratories and other approved voucher facilities within the American-Made Network to develop, test, and validate technology.

Countdown and Liftoff


The Countdown and Liftoff Contests accelerate the path of perovskites into industry and the market, meeting aggressive needs for cost reduction and increased deployment. Contests run on a quarterly basis, with only selected competitors moving on from Countdown to Liftoff. Those who aren’t selected to move on to Liftoff may reapply at the next submission deadline.


Contest Anticipated Number of Winners Prizes
Countdown 6-9 Each finalist receives $200,000 in cash.
Liftoff 2-3 Each winner receives $500,000 in cash and $100,000 in vouchers.

Countdown Contest: During the Countdown Contest, participants focus on three key areas:

  1. Teaming: Develop a world-class, cross-functional team with credible perovskite and business development expertise that will form a new perovskite PV company.
  2. Planning: Develop well-articulated, aggressive but achievable technical and business goals that have been vetted by a wide array of stakeholders and industry experts.
  3. Facility Access: Secure access to the necessary equipment and laboratory facilities that enable you to pursue your development plans in the next stage of the competition.


Liftoff Contest: After becoming a finalist and moving on to the Liftoff Contest, competitors focus on three key areas:

  1. Demonstrated Progress: Completion of the aggressive milestones and deliverables submitted in the Crystallize Contest.
  2. Third-Party Validation: Evaluation by neutral, third-party testing facilities of the demonstrated perovskite module performance claims.
  3. Network Development: Solidification of a core network of mentors and partners to work with to help advance the proposed solution. This network can include national labs, other members of the American-Made Network, funders, and/or private partners.


Who Can Compete


To compete in the Perovskite Startup Prize, participants must be a for-profit business entity incorporated within six months prior to the announcement of this competition or any time after the announcement of the competition. Read the rules for further details on eligibility requirements.