National Pitch Event
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages National Laboratory-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, including university-developed technologies or other technologies of interest to student competitors. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.
The EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), in partnership with American-Made Challenges, is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide. EnergyTech UP, in partnership with American-Made Challenges, is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide. Winners will be chosen based on the strength of their business proposal.
Student teams compete for a total of $370,000 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. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed.
Teams first compete at the regional level for a share of $45,000. Then, the top teams move on and compete for a share of $100,000 in prizes funded by OTT. 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.
Understanding that energy is often inherently local, teams first present at their closest regional events in February, where regional winners are identified. Teams that are invited to participate in the regional events receive free access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum. First-place regional winners are provided exclusive mentorship to help students refine their ideas throughout February and March. Finally, the regional winners pitch their complete business plan at Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit.
See the Timeline tab on HeroX for important dates related to the most current round of competition.
The exciting finale of the EnergyTech University Prize 2023 is happening next week. Whether you’re headed to Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, or you want to watch the National Pitch Event virtually, join us on Monday, April 3, to hear the student pitches and live winner announcement!
The prize’s 16 final competitors will be presenting their innovative energy-focused business pitches to a panel of industry judges on Monday, April 3, from 8:15 a.m.–2:15 p.m. CT. Anyone attending the conference is invited to join in person—then join the big winner announcement at that evening’s closing event around 5:30 p.m. CT!
If you won’t be attending Energy Thought Summit in person, you can still catch all the action live—including student pitches and the winner announcement—via livestream. Or check back here after the event to catch up on which teams earned National Winner titles and a share of the $100,000 prize pool!
Good luck to all the competing teams—we look forward to seeing you in Austin!
At the National Pitch Event, the prize’s 15 Regional Winners and one National Lab Technology IP Licensing Bonus Prize Winner will present their innovative energy-focused business pitches to a panel of industry judges in the hopes of becoming a National Winner and winning one of three awards:
1st place: $50,000
2nd place: $30,000
3rd place: $20,000
During the live pitches, each team will have 10 minutes to present, followed by five minutes of Q&A from the judges. After pitches conclude, judges will deliberate and select the top three teams. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions will then announce winners live around 5:30 p.m. CT.
Eight EnergyTech University Prize Bonus Prize Winners have been selected and awarded $25,000 each! Please join us in congratulating the winning teams.
Bonus Prize Finalists were selected by regional Explore Event judges in different technology areas. The corresponding U.S. Department of Energy technology offices then reviewed the presentations and selected relevant Bonus Prize Winners from amongst the finalists.
The Office of Technology Transitions selected the following National Lab Technology IP Licensing Bonus Prize Winner:
Prairie View A&M University and the University of Houston, “Revolutionizing Hydrogen with Ceramic Membranes”
This team and the 15 Regional Winners will now move onto the Refine Phase to further hone their business plans in advance of the EnergyTech UP National Pitch Event at Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, on April 3. After the pitches conclude, judges will select a first-place National Winner to be awarded $50,000; a second-place National Winner to be awarded $30,000; and a third-place winner to be awarded $20,000.
Additionally, eight teams were chosen as Technology Bonus Prize Winners and awarded $25,000 each for their compelling solutions that leverage specific technologies:
Geothermal: Team Visionergy, University of Maryland, “Cow Cooling Before Climate Catastrophe”
Electricity / Grid Enhancing Technologies: Team RLGrid, Cornell University andMassachusetts Institute of Technology, “RLGrid: AI-Driven Grid Management and Expansion”
Electricity / Large Power Transformers: The University of Texas at Austin, “Solid-State Transformer for the New Electric Grid”
Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: Team Biocharm, Appalachian State University, “Biocharm - the Pursuit of Carbon Negative Concrete”
National Lab Technology IP Licensing: Prairie View A&M University and the University of Houston, “Revolutionizing Hydrogen with Ceramic Membranes”
Nuclear Energy: Boise State University, “Additively Manufactured Sensors for Nuclear Energy”
Solar Energy: Team UW Madison Helios, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Low-Cost Heliostat for CSP and PV”
Water Power: Team Magnetic Gears for Wave Energy, Texas A&M University, “Magnetic Gears to Unlock Wave Energy”
These teams are invited to attend Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, on April 3 to optionally present their business plans at a lunchtime plenary session and network with industry attendees but will not be competing in the National Pitch Event.
The regional Explore Events have concluded, and we are pleased to announce the 15 Regional Winners of the EnergyTech University Prize 2023! The Regional Winners, who were awarded $3,000 each, are as follows (listed in alphabetical order by team name):
Battery Doctor, TheUniversity of Alabama
Bio-Based Terrazzo, University of Louisville
Carbon to Stone, Cornell University
Carbonbusters, Purdue University
Direct Recycling of Battery Manufacturing Waste, The Ohio State University and The University of Akron
Electromaim, The George Washington University
Flux XII, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Heliotrope, New York University
LiQuidium, University of Houston
Low Temperature Hydrothermal Synthesis, University of California, San Diego
Pike Robotics, TheUniversity of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston
Refrigerant Recycling with Membrane Technology, TheUniversity of Kansas
ReLi, The University of Virginia
Rockfix, Stanford University and Harvard University
Wildflower Project, Oregon Institute of Technology
These teams will now move to the Refine Phase, where they will prepare to compete for the winner title and a share of the $100,000 prize pool. Bonus Prize Winners will be announced March 7.
Join us in congratulating the winners! We look forward to seeing their fresh ideas presented at the National Pitch Event at Zpryme’s Energy Thought Summit in Austin, Texas, this April.
Today, the Battery Doctor team from The University of Alabama was selected as the Florida & Alabama Regional Winner in the EnergyTech University Prize. The team was awarded $3,000 for their business plan entry.
The announcement was made by the Florida & Alabama regional convener organization, Florida High Tech Corridor. The winning team now moves on to compete in the next phase of competition, the Refine Phase, where they’ll refine their market analysis and business opportunity before competing in the National Pitch Event.
In addition, the following entries have been selected as Bonus Prize Finalists:
Grid Enhancing Technologies: HyBrTec: One Dollar Hydrogen - Desulfurization of Natural Gas Producing Hydrogen, Florida International University
Fossil Energy and Carbon Management: From Waste to Market Growth: CO2 Eating Algae, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University
National Lab Technology IP Licensing: From Waste to Market Growth: CO2 Eating Algae, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University
Solar: The MEGA: Mobile Electricity Generating Appliance, New College of Florida
Water Power: RenergyNest, University of Florida
From all Bonus Prize Finalists across all Explore Events, a single Bonus Prize Winner per category will be selected after the conclusion of the Explore Events and up to nine teams will be awarded $25,000 each. The National Lab Technology IP Licensing Bonus Prize Winner will win $25,000 and pitch alongside the Regional Winners at the National Pitch Event.
Congratulations to the Battery Doctor team from The University of Alabamaand the Bonus Prize Finalists!
This concludes all regional Explore Events. Next, U.S. Department of Energy technology offices will evaluate the Bonus Prize Finalists and select up to one winner per category. The Bonus Prize Winners will be announced on March 7. Good luck to all finalists!