The American-Made Network

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



American-Made Network members work with Perovskite Startup Prize competitors, offering resources and support at every contest. Network members support competitors’ efforts by connecting them with world-class national laboratories, as well as a private-sector stakeholder community that is already actively assisting entrepreneurs to bring innovative ideas and concepts to market. Network members are incentivized to help competitors succeed through performance awards or vouchers that competitors use at facilities and national laboratories.


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.

Connectors


Connectors are entities capable of identifying and recruiting contest participants, as well as supporting competitors on their innovation journey. Connectors can be incubators, universities, think tanks, industry groups, or any enabler seeking to help participants win by performing support activities such as:


  • Attracting leading, world-class perovskite researchers to become contest competitors
  • Helping competitors respond to perovskite R&D challenges, develop business plans, work with mentors, and connect with investors and industry partners
  • Raising non-federal funding to further support perovskite startup companies
  • Raising non-federal funding to support this program and its participants;
  • Connecting competitors with shared lab spaces, facilities, and tools to establish a manufacturing base for their perovskite technology

Connectors who support participants in the Countdown or Lift-off Contests will be financially rewarded, as shown in the table below.

Mentors


Mentors are individuals with skills, expertise, or past relevant experience who can coach and advise competitors as they build their business. Mentors in the American-Made Network participate in their personal capacity and do not represent a Connector organization. Mentors can help competitors by:


  • Bringing deep and relevant prior experience in thin-film solar manufacturing and solar startups to the team
  • Filling an expertise skill gap on the team
  • Advising or coaching teams on their technical and business plan and targets

Mentors who support participants in the Countdown or Lift-off Contests will be financially rewarded based, as shown in the table below.

Connector/Mentor Recognition Reward Opportunities
Recognition Reward Name Anticipated Number of Awards Dollar Amounts Details
Recruit Up to 1 per winning Countdown team $1,000 per team Distributed to Connectors who recruit a perovskite research team that wins the Countdown Contest and is identified by the competitor.
Support Up to 3 per winning Countdown team $10,000 per team Distributed to Connectors or Mentors identified as significant supporters by Countdown Contest finalists.
Up to 3 per winning Liftoff team $15,000 per team Distributed to Connectors or Mentors identified as significant supporters by Lift-off Contest winners.
Up to 3 per non-winning Liftoff team $5,000 per team Distributed to Connectors or Mentors identified as significant supporters by competitors who competed in but did not win the Lift-off Contest.

Become a Connector

We are continually adding expertise and resources to the Network. If you or someone you know would make a great addition to the Network, we invite you to join!


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 more about the Power Connector roles and how they work alongside NREL to build a sustainable network.

Voucher Payments


Winners of the Lift-off Contest will receive vouchers they can use to fund work at national laboratories and other facilities to accelerate the production, improvement, or validation of their prototypes.