November 17, 2022

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DOE EnergyTech UP Business Plan Competition Offers $370K to Students


Students interested in learning about cutting-edge clean energy tech, take note: The next round of the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions is now accepting applications!

This innovative prize, part of the American-Made Challenges program, asks multidisciplinary student teams to identify a high-potential energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization—and compete for a share of $370,000!

Program Overview  

Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the  EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition that challenges multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present business plans about high-potential energy technologies developed by DOE national laboratories or other research centers. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization. Distinct from many other startup competitions, winners will be chosen on the strength of their business plans rather than their individual team members’ ability to start a business, and teams are not expected to go on to run a business based on their plan. We are excited to share that the student teams will be competing for over $370,000 in cash prizes 

How it works: 

All teams must register by January 26, 2023Student teams will first compete at the regional level for a share of $45,000. Teams from Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina will present at the virtual South Atlantic regional competition on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. First-place regional winners will be provided exclusive mentorship and will have free access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum to help them refine their ideas throughout March 2023. Regional winners will then pitch their complete business plan at the EnergyTech UP finals, in conjunction with the 2023 Energy Thought Summit conference in Austin on April 2, 2023 and compete for a share of $100,000. In addition, eight DOE technology offices are offering up to $25,000 each in bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields. The offices include:  

  • Building Technologies Office 
  • Geothermal Technologies Office 
  • Office of Electricity (offering two technology bonus prizes) 
  • Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management 
  • Office of Nuclear Energy 
  • Office of Technology Transitions 
  • Solar Energy Technologies Office 
  • Water Power Technologies Office. 

This challenge is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable, allowing students with- or without a background in energy or business to successfully compete. Students that choose to participate will receive the resources and guidance needed to contend with schools across the country.   

How students can get started:  

  1. Register for the informational webinar on December 6 at 3:00pm that will provide an overview of the 2023 EnergyTech University Prize competition. 
  2. Follow the competition on the HeroX platform for competition updates 
  3. Read the 2023 Competition Official Rules document  
  4. Start to explore possible technology opportunities on the Lab Partnering Service 
  5. Register and submit your idea by the Jan. 26, 2023, deadline!   

To see the results of the 2022 competition, visit: https://www.herox.com/EnergyTechUP2022/teams