How to Compete in the American-Made Solar Prize


There are two 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.


Round 1 will conclude in the fall of 2019. Round 2 of the Solar Prize is now open and accepting competitors. Read the rules and submit your idea by July 16.


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 $525,000 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 $525,000 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.


Contest Winners Prizes
Ready! 20 to 40 $1,000,000 distributed equally with a range of $25,000 to $50,000 in cash per winner
Set! 5 to 10 $1,000,000 in cash and $375,000 in vouchers distributed within a range of $100,000 to $200,000 in cash and $37,500 to $75,000 in vouchers per winner
Go! 2 $500,000 in cash and up to $75,000 in vouchers per winner

Ready! Contest (up to $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 and Go! Contest. Anyone can submit a package to compete in the Ready! Contest.3 A panel of expert judges from industry, national labs, and government will evaluate submissions.


Set! Contest (up to $200,000 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 chosen by a panel of judges after a live demo day event.


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. Both winners will again be chosen by a panel of judges after a live demo day event.


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
  1. Identify an important problem you want to solve (discover ideas through Ideation on HeroX)
  2. Submit a 90-second video describing your challenge and proposed solution, team, and plan
  3. Answer a short, four-question narrative and make a slide about this problem or challenge
  4. Submit a two-page technical assistance request
  5. Update your videos and statements as you advance through the contests.

How to Ideate


Ideation takes place through the HeroX platform where anyone can submit industry-relevant problems and possible solutions. The community can share feedback by commenting on postings, bringing new ideas to light for competitors.


Competitors are encouraged to track posted problems and devise solutions as a basis for framing Ready! Contest submissions. Potential competitors can use the platform to explore and refine existing ideas and more.

The second round of the American-Made Solar Prize is now open. Read the rules and submit your idea by July 16.