American-Made Challenges


Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize Round 2

The Office of Technology Transitions EPIC Prize incentivizes incubators that implement high-impact ideas to support energy startups.

This challenge is closed

$4,000,000 Prize Pool

This challenge is closed


The Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize recognizes the nation’s most innovative incubators. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), the EPIC Prize awards cash prizes to regional incubator teams that submit the most creative and impactful plans, then implement those plans to develop strong clusters, connections, and support for energy startups and entrepreneurs. 

Technology startups often require more than just capital to launch, grow, and scale innovations. Incubators are crucial in providing entrepreneurs mentorship, technology validation, business development, connections to manufacturers, and more to strengthen the America’s clean energy future. The prize seeks to address a capital gap in supporting these critical organizations by providing funds to be applied where incubators need them most. Providing capital to enable creative, forward-thinking organizations is necessary to allow these groups to think more expansively about the role of incubators in the broader regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Core to the EPIC Prize Round 2 is the incubator program, which consists of three phases: 

  • Design It! 
  • Move It! 
  • Prove It! 

The Move It! and Prove It! phases will also include a pitch competition in which incubators can nominate energy startups for a chance to win up to $50,000.

Please review the official rules  for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or message us directly at .


Challenge Updates

EPIC Prize Round 2 Semifinalists Announced!

Dec. 6, 2022, 9:02 a.m. PST by NREL

Congratulations to the 24 teams advancing to Phase 2 as EPIC Prize Round 2 semifinalists. See below for the full list of semifinalist teams representing a wide range of technology focus areas including the built environment, storage, food security, manufacturing, solar, workforce training, the blue economy, carbon reduction, and more. 

You can find more information about the prize, semifinalist teams, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions on

All Phase 1 participants will receive reviewers’ comments within the next few weeks. For those teams selected to move on to Phase 2, check your email for your next steps and please register for the Phase 2 Informational Webinar

EPIC Prize Round 2 Semifinalists

New & Emerging 

  • GPV Solutions (Austell, Ga.) 
  • BlueSwell  (Cambridge, Mass.) 
  • ClimateHaven (New Haven, Conn.) 
  • IoT Conduit (Burlington, Vt.) 
  • Imani Works (Chicago, Ill.) 
  • LabStart (Golden, Colo.) 
  • ADL Ventures (Charleston, W.Va.) 
  • Positive Deviancy (Sterling, Va.) 
  • REACH (Fort Collins, Colo.) 
  • Northwest Xcelerator (Portland, Ore.) 


  • Black and Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.) 
  • Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (Stony Brook, N.Y.) 
  • Braid Theory (San Pedro, Calif.) 
  • VentureWell/TechTown Detroit (Hadley, Mass. and Detroit, Mich.) 
  • FORGE (Somerville, Mass.) 
  • The Koffman Incubator (Binghamton, N.Y.) 
  • Grid Catalyst (Minneapolis, Minn.) 
  • The Arrowhead Center (La Cruces, N.M.) 
  • Evergreen Climate Innovations  (Chicago, Ill.).
  • Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (Los Angeles, Calif.) 

Bonus Prize Winners 

Today: EPIC Prize Round 2 Submissions Due by 5 p.m. ET!

Oct. 25, 2022, 10:11 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Incubators: Make sure your Design It! submissions are uploaded no later than 5 p.m. ET today!

 As a reminder, here’s what you need to submit: 

  • Video (public)
  • Cover page content
  • Core narrative (not to exceed 2,500 words)
  • One summary PowerPoint slide (public)
  • Letters of commitment or support (optional).

Make sure you review the rules carefully and use the submission template to complete your entry. Submissions must be in by 5 p.m. ET and we will not accept late submissions. We highly recommend uploading your submission as early as possible to avoid connectivity issues or upload delays. 

Good luck!

Phase 1 Deadline TOMORROW!

Oct. 24, 2022, 8:38 a.m. PDT by NREL

All EPIC Prize Design It! submissions are due tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 25 by 5 p.m. ET. 

The official rules and the Design It! submission template can be found in the Resources section of HeroX

Be sure to upload your completed submission well before the deadline to avoid potential delays that may arise due to technical difficulties. Submissions will not be accepted after 5 p.m. ET.


Reach out with questions () and we look forward to seeing your submissions.


Thank you!

Learn About the Bonus Prizes!

Oct. 6, 2022, 12:28 p.m. PDT by NREL

Are you supporting technologies in the areas of geothermal, water power, buildings, or solar? You could be eligible for a $50,000 Bonus Prize! Hear directly from the four DOE offices providing Bonus Prizes now

Interested in more news from the Office of Technology Transitions? Sign up for the OTT newsletter to receive updates on critical research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) programs, and funding opportunities.

Phase 1: Design It! Informational Webinar Now Available

Sept. 9, 2022, 6:31 a.m. PDT by NREL

If you missed the EPIC Prize Round 2 Informational Webinar this week, you can now stream the recording to catch up on all the details for the $4 million prize. During the presentation, prize administrators covered everything you need to know about competing, including timelines, deliverables, and prize rules. Anyone interested in submitting their proposal by the Oct. 25 deadline is encouraged to watch the recording before applying.