American-Made Challenges


Office of Technology Transitions EnergyTech University Prize 2022-2023

Tasking student teams to develop and present a business plan using National Laboratory-developed or other high-potential energy technologies
Informational Webinar

Challenge Overview

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.  

Here’s how you can get started:

Prize Structure

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.

Important Dates

See the Timeline tab on HeroX for important dates related to the most current round of competition.


Challenge Updates

Save the Date: Next EnergyTech UP Live Informational Webinar is Dec. 6

Nov. 30, 2022, 7 a.m. PST by NREL Challenge

See yourself being among the next generation of energy innovation leaders? Make it happen by joining the EnergyTech UP webinar on Dec. 6 to find out how you can participate in the 2023 competition.

The second informational webinar is for students and faculty interested in participating in the competition who may have missed the October session or still have questions for the prize administrators. During the Dec. 6 webinar, we’ll discuss inside tips on how to succeed and identify technologies that could be the center of your business plan. We’ll also outline how the competition works, all the prizes that are up for grabs, and what other resources you can access as a competitor.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. With $370,000 in cash prizes up for grabs, you won’t want to miss the EnergyTech UP 2023 competition! 

Ask all your questions at the live webinar on Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. ET—register now!

Register for the EnergyTech University Prize Live Informational Webinar on Dec. 6

Nov. 22, 2022, 1:15 p.m. PST by NREL Challenge

If you missed the first EnergyTech University Prize webinar, catch the next one on Dec. 6! Register now for the informational webinar. 

Help shape the future of energy technologies by participating in the EnergyTech University Prize 2023. This student business plan competition offers $370,000 in prizes—and the opportunity to gain valuable experience.

Join an informational webinar on Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. ET to learn more about the competition. Prize administrators will review the rules, offer ideas for energy technologies teams can use to develop their plans, and answer questions from the audience.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Register now for the next informational webinar on Dec. 6. 

EnergyTech UP Informational Webinar Recording Now Available

Oct. 27, 2022, 9:50 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

If you missed the informational webinar on EnergyTech UP 2023, you can now stream the recording or view the slides to catch up on all the prize details. During the session, prize administrators shared details about the $370,000 in cash prizes available to students, explained the requirements for competing, offered ideas about energy technologies teams can use to develop their plans, and answered live questions from the audience.

Students interested in competing and faculty interested in leading a team are encouraged to watch the recording and view the slides to start thinking about their energy-based business plans! 

The next live informational webinar will be held on Dec. 6 and there will be a team-building networking event in January 2023. Stay tuned for more details and links to register for those events. 

Registration for the competition closes on Jan. 26, 2023. The dates for all of the regional Explore Events can be found on the Timeline section of HeroX. We encourage school staff, faculty, or students considering participation to read the Rules to understand all the details around competing successfully. Graphics are also available to help your school recruit others to participate.

In the meantime, you can submit questions to or post discussion topics on the public HeroX forum

Don’t Miss Today’s Informational Webinar!

Oct. 26, 2022, 8:30 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

The EnergyTech University Prize informational webinar is happening TODAY at 3 p.m. ET. All potential student competitors and faculty advisors are encouraged to tune in as prize administrators cover the ins and outs of competing, help you find just the right energy technology to build your business plan around, and answer your questions. It’s a great first step in preparing to compete.  

With a total prize pool of $370,000 available to students, you won’t want to miss this year’s competition!

If you haven’t done so yet, register for today’s webinar now and join us at 3 p.m. ET!   

Mark Your Calendars for the EnergyTech UP Informational Webinar on Oct. 26

Oct. 19, 2022, 10:45 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Want to win part of $370,000 in the EnergyTech University Prize? Join an informational webinar on Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. ET to learn about competing in this student business plan competition! 

At the webinar, EnergyTech UP administrators will be on hand to talk about how to compete, rules, eligibility, and where to find energy technologies from the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories and beyond to build your business plan around. Plus, we’ll end the webinar with a live question-and-answer session. 

Attending this webinar is a great first step for any students interested in competing. Don’t miss out—register now!