American-Made Challenges

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Perovskite Startup Prize

The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize is designed to accelerate the growth of the domestic perovskite industry.
stage:
Enter
prize:
$3 million in total prizes, distributed through 2 contests (see rules)
Overview

Challenge Overview

For information on the Prize timeline, please refer to the Guidelines tab. 

Challenge Overview

The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers will launch a company and move toward commercialization in under a year.

As part of the American-Made Challenges series, the Perovskite Startup Prize unites the world’s best-in-class research base with the unparalleled entrepreneurial support system of the American-Made Network. Consisting of pioneering maker spaces, dozens of energy incubators, universities, and 17 U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, the Network is primed to assist entrepreneurs in bringing perovskite-focused concepts to market.

Prize Contests

The Perovskite Startup Prize consists of two consecutive contests that accelerate efforts to develop new, innovative perovskite solar companies with the potential to manufacture commercially viable products in the United States. The best-performing competitors in the Countdown Contest are awarded with cash prizes and are eligible to compete in the Lift-off Contest. This cycle of contests repeats until 2-3 final winners are selected for successfully completing the challenge.

View legal agreement

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Please review the official rules for the complete submission process and instructions for participating. 

The Perovskite Startup Prize is composed of two contests: Countdown and Liftoff. Each contest has a set amount of funding allocated for winning submissions. Finalists and winners will be chosen upon merit, and contests will be open on a quarterly basis until all prize money has been won. DOE expects to select approximately six to nine companies that will receive $200,000 in cash and become eligible to compete in the Liftoff Contest. It is not expected that all winners will be selected in the first open-application period. However, the Countdown Contest will close once these awards are made, which may be before the final dates indicated on the table above. The Liftoff Contest will end when the prize pool is exhausted, regardless of whether all Countdown winners have applied to enter the Liftoff Contest. 

Please note the prize administrator, at its sole discretion, may decide to hold interviews with a subset of the Countdown Contest competitors. The interviews would be held prior to the announcement of winners, typically within two weeks of the submission deadline, and would serve to help answer questions the judge may have. If you are invited for an interview, you will be contacted 48 hours in advance; participation in the interview will be a prerequisite to receiving an award. An interview invitation is not an indication of winning. 

Currently, 0 Countdown and 0 Liftoff awards have been made.

Below is a table with tentative submission deadlines each quarter*: 

DateDeadlineRequirements
Mar. 2021AnnouncementOpen for Countdown submissions

June 30, 2021 

5:00 PM ET

Countdown Submission Deadline #1 

Sept. 30, 2021 

5:00 PM ET

Countdown Submission Deadline #2

Liftoff Submission Deadline #1

Liftoff– Must have won Countdown #1

Jan. 4, 2022 

5:00 PM ET

Countdown Submission Deadline #3

Liftoff Submission Deadline #2

Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1 or #2

March 31, 2022 

5:00 PM ET

Countdown Submission Deadline #4

Liftoff Submission Deadline #3

Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1, #2, or #3

June 30, 2022 

5:00 PM ET

Liftoff Submission Deadline #4Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1, #2, #3, or #4

 

*All dates subject to change.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by clicking the “follow” button at the top of this page. You can pose questions in the “Forum” tab or reach out to prize administrators by emailing

Timeline
Updates 5

Challenge Updates

Perovskite Startup Prize Opens Second Application Period for the Countdown Contest

July 21, 2021, 12:51 p.m. PDT by Jackie Petre

The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize has opened the second Countdown Contest application period. There is still an opportunity for 6-9 companies to earn $200,000 for their perovskite-focused technology. 

Both new and previous applicants are encouraged to apply to the next Countdown Contest submission deadline, which is Sept. 30, 2021. 

Previous applicants should have received feedback from the expert reviewers via email to improve submissions for the next cycle of competition. If you have additional questions about comments, please reach out to .

In addition to the comments, we also encourage you to reach out to ADL Ventures, the Power Connector for the Perovskite Startup Prize, for additional support. The ADL Ventures team can support your submission and get you in touch with Connectors and Mentors in the American-Made Network to help launch your innovation forward. Contact  to start getting connected. 

We look forward to seeing all the perovskite technologies in the next cycle of competition! 


Reminder - 1st Submission Deadline June 30th

June 29, 2021, 9:53 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Remember that the first deadline to submit to the Perovskite Startup Prize Countdown Contest is tomorrow, June 30th, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Be sure to get your submission in early to avoid any technical difficulties.

Your submission must include:

  • Company Eligibility Verification
  • 120-second video (public)
  • Cover page
  • Narrative answers to four questions (not to exceed 2,500 words)
  • Résumés
  • Technical assistance request (public)
  • One summary PowerPoint slide (public)
  • Letters of commitment or support (optional)

We look forward to seeing your ideas.


ADL Ventures is the Power Connector for the Perovskite Startup Prize!

June 8, 2021, 7:30 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

ADL Ventures is the Power Connector for the Perovskite Startup Prize!

Power Connectors operate under a contract with NREL to identify and support competitors in the Countdown and Liftoff Contests, so they are ineligible for all recognition awards. Power Connectors are Connectors who play a more substantial role in the competition and receive funds to expand and amplify DOE and NREL’s efforts. Power Connectors will be rewarded for efforts that: 

  • Increase the number of new, high-quality competitors
  • Expand the network of partners, resources, and tools
  • Support contests and teams with an increasingly robust and diverse American-Made Network and expand teams access to nongovernment resources and funding

ADL Ventures is building the Mentor Network available to the teams competing in the Perovskite Startup Prize. Stay tuned for the launch of the Mentor Network. If you want to reach out to ADL Ventures, contact Yan Yan at


Now Streaming: Perovskite Startup Prize Informational Webinar

April 14, 2021, 11 a.m. PDT by Jackie Petre

If you missed the American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize Informational Webinar this week, you can now view a recording of everything you missed. Check out the recording below and find a PDF version of the slides here

Remember, the Countdown Contest closes on June 30 at 5 p.m. ET. We encourage you to review the rules and submit questions to the HeroX forum or .


Learn More About the Perovskite Startup Prize at the Informational Webinar

April 8, 2021, 2:01 p.m. PDT by Jackie Petre

The Perovskite Startup Prize is hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday, April 13, at 1 p.m. ET. Tune in to learn more about the prize structure, participation requirements, and what you need to accomplish throughout the competition. 

The newly launched Perovskite Startup Prize aims to accelerate the growth of the U.S. perovskite industry and support the rapid development of solar cells and modules that use perovskite materials. Through two contests, established perovskite researchers compete for $3 million in prizes while they launch a company and move toward commercialization. 

Want to learn more about the Perovskite Startup Prize and how you can compete? Join the informational webinar on Tuesday, April 13, at 1 p.m. ET. Register here for the webinar


Forum 8
Teams 82
Resources
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Solve this Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.

If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.

Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain solar innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, facilities, and other valuable industry partners from across the U.S. who will engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of competitors.

See who is in the network.

If you encounter an issue when attempting to submit an entry to the challenge, you may need to contact HeroX or the Prize Administrator.

You may try to connect with HeroX using the online form which appears in the bottom right corner of your browser window, it says Leave a Message.

You may also send a message to the Prize Administrator inbox at .

Please allow at least 1 business day for a response.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the Prize Administrator for the American-Made Challenges. In this capacity NREL works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to administer the challenges, maintain the website platform, assist in building the network, and pay prize money to the winning teams.

All of your files are uploaded as part of the submission form, access this by clicking the Begin Entry button.  The submission form contains an upload option for each of the required file entries.  Only PDF files will be accepted for upload.

Competitors may submit a maximum of two (2) submissions per quarterly application period for Countdown Contest. If more than two submissions are received from a single competitor or team for a quarterly application period, only the two most recent submissions will be considered.

 

If a competitor completes a submission package to the Liftoff Contest and is not selected, they are eligible to submit one more time to a future Liftoff round with that same submission package. Competitors who are not selected two times are no longer eligible to compete to win the Liftoff Contest. 

Competitors must be a for-profit business entity, such as a corporation or other organization that is formed in and maintains a primary place of business in the United States with majority domestic ownership and control. Only for-profit companies incorporated within six (6) months prior to the announcement of this competition or any time after the announcement of the competition are eligible to compete. 

Individuals or groups of individuals are not eligible to compete. A for-profit business entity is eligible to compete only if the registered competitor is an employee or owner of that business. 

Please the official rules for more details. 

Only business entities that won the Countdown Contest may apply to compete in the Liftoff Contest. The size and makeup of the team can change from Countdown. 

Please the official rules for more details. 

If a competitor completes a submission package to the Liftoff Contest and is not selected, they are eligible to submit one more time to a future Liftoff round. Competitors who are not selected two times are no longer eligible to compete to win the Liftoff Contest. Please the official rules for more details. 

The prize administrator, at its sole discretion, may decide to hold interviews with a subset of the Countdown Contest competitors. The interviews would be held prior to the announcement of winners, typically within two weeks of the submission deadline, and would serve to help answer questions the judge may have. If you are invited for an interview, you will be contacted 48 hours in advance; participation in the interview will be a prerequisite to receiving an award. An interview invitation is not an indication of winning.