Visit our "EnergyTech UP Regional Explore Events" tab for student Explore Phase presentation details and our "EnergyTech UP Faculty Track" tab for faculty track details. Students present to judges on February 27, 28, and 29. The Faculty Track Implementation Plan submission deadline is April 5, 2024. The entry form for the Faculty Track will open on March 1.
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) challenges student teams to compete for cash prizes for successfully identifying a promising energy technology, assessing its market potential, and creating a business plan for commercialization.
Starting in 2024, EnergyTech UP offers the ability for both students and faculty to compete in their own respective tracks.
Students: Develop and present a business plan that leverages National Laboratory-developed or other emerging energy technologies developed by students, faculty, or industry. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed, all while competing for part of $400,000+ in cash prizes.
Faculty: Develop and implement educational activities to engage more students in energy technology commercialization and entrepreneurship topics at their institution. While faculty have always been, and remain, welcome and encouraged to mentor a team competing in EnergyTech UP, this new track is designed to incentivize and support faculty directly, with $100,000 in cash prizes available.
About the Prize
This prize is sponsored by DOE’s OTT, as well as several other program offices. EnergyTech UP, in partnership with American-Made Challenges, is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide. Winners are chosen based on the strength of their business proposals. Participating students are provided with a curated list of National Lab technologies that are ready for commercialization and that can be used for their business plan.
Prize Structure for Student Competitors
Student teams compete for more than $400,000 in cash prizes as they explore business opportunities for lab-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, assess commercialization opportunities through market analysis, and present a viable business plan to industry judges.
Understanding that energy is often inherently local, competitor teams first present at their designated regional events in February, where regional finalists are identified. Teams that are invited to participate in the regional events receive free access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum. Finalists are provided exclusive mentorship to help students refine their ideas throughout February and March. Finally, the finalists pitch their complete business plan as part of Zpryme’s 2024 Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas on April 15, 2024.
Prize Structure for Faculty Competitors
The faculty track is designed for educators who may benefit from mentorship and resources to create an implementation plan for their blossoming ideas for integrating or expanding energy technology commercialization or entrepreneurship activities at their home institution.
Faculty (or faculty teams) will compete for part of the $100,000 prize pool through three phases of competition. They will develop a proposal to expand energy technology commercialization or entrepreneurship activities at their home institution; receive access to a DOE mentor and DOE resources; and work toward showing how their plans could be integrated into student activities.
How to Compete
Are you a collegiate student or faculty member interested in transitioning energy technologies to market? The EnergyTech University Prize is for you! Here are next steps you can take to get started:
Indicate your interest in competing by filling out this interest form
Sign up to compete on HeroX, the official competition platform.
Congratulations to the five teams selected as the EnergyTech UP Eastern Regional Finalists! These teams have been awarded $3,000 for their business plans and will advance to compete in the National Pitch Event this April at the Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas.
The following entries have been selected as Eastern Regional Finalists:
Charge Bay, University of South Florida
Flow Battery Diagnostics for Energy Reliability, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University
Non-Toxic Bio-Solvents for Lithium-Ion Batteries, Northeastern University and The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Oxylus Energy: Novel CO2 Electrolysis to Methanol, Yale University
State-of-the-Art Power Generation Dispatch, Duke University
In addition to the Regional Finalists, judges selected teams to highlight as Undergraduate-Only Semifinalists. At the conclusion of the Regional Explore Events, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions will review all Undergraduate-Only Semifinalists and select one team to advance to the National Pitch Event as the Undergraduate-Only Finalist.
The following entries have been selected as Eastern Regional Undergraduate-Only Semifinalists:
Blackout, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Carbon Upcycled, University of Pennsylvania
Coal Waste-Based Green Rare Earth Extraction, Princeton University
Rigs & Reefs: Renewables for Coral Restoration, University of South Florida
Join us virtually for EnergyTech UP’s regional Explore Events this week! Competing student teams will show off their energy-based business plans as they pitch their ideas to a group of peers, and a panel of judges, who will select the region’s finalists at the end of the event. Finalists from each region will win $3,000 and be invited to the National Pitch Event in Austin, Texas, this April for the chance to win even bigger prizes.
Next week marks the start of the EnergyTech UP Faculty Track training sessions on topics that are essential for commercialization activities. The Faculty Track is an opportunity for faculty from across the nation to develop energy technology commercialization activities at their institution.
The session topics will cover:
U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Overview
Lab Partnering Service
Adoption Readiness Levels
Business Model Canvas (Energy I-Corps)
National Lab Technology Transfer Summary
Any Faculty Track potential applicant is encouraged to attend the sessions to learn about tools and resources offered by OTT that faculty could integrate into their Pitch Phase submissions (due April 5). Register in advance for the following training sessions:
We look forward to seeing faculty competitors at these training sessions!
Student Regional Explore Events
Don’t forget, the student teams will present their pitches virtually next week in the regional Explore Events! Check out which schools are competing in each division and use the links below to register for the events so you don’t miss out on this year’s student pitches!
Congratulations to the collegiate student teams who are competing in EnergyTech UP 2024!
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions announced the 225 competing teams from 117 schools—representing 39 states and Washington D.C.—who will compete in this year’s program. Competing teams will now get to work creating their business plan to commercialize a promising energy technology and preparing to pitch it at regional Explore Events happening in late February.
The competing schools are:
Alabama State University
Arizona State University
Boise State University
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Clark Atlanta University
Cleveland State University
College of William & Mary
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
George Mason University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Hawai’i Pacific University
Idaho State University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Johns Hopkins University
Kennesaw State University
Lawrence Technological University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Montana State University
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New York University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
North Carolina Central University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Purdue University Northwest
Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Saint Paul College
Savannah College of Art and Design
Southern University Law Center
Southern Utah University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
The Ohio State University
The University of Alabama
The University of Chicago
The University of New Orleans
The University of Oklahoma
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Toledo
The University of Utah
University at Buffalo
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Arkansas
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
University of Houston
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Louisville
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Montana
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
University of New Hampshire
University of North Dakota
University of North Florida
University of North Texas
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida
University of Southern California
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Prize administrators look forward to seeing the innovative plans that students will be pitching at the upcoming Explore Events. Congratulations and good luck!
Collegiate students—your chance to compete for a share of more than $400,000 ends at 11:59 p.m. ET! Is your submission ready?
You only need to prepare a few things to get started. First, make sure you are logged into your account on this HeroX page.
Click “Begin Entry,” and enter the following:
Information about your team
A 200-word summary addressing the energy technology to be leveraged and the business opportunity
A short slide deck to accompany your summary (optional, but highly encouraged)
Note that you'll have an opportunity to update these elements, if desired, before you pitch to judges at your regional Explore Event (please see the official rules for exact submission requirements).
Still have questions? You can stream the recent informational webinar, featuring prize administrators covering last-minute questions about the prize, email , or post a question to the public HeroX forum for community and prize administrator feedback.