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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, 1 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. 7, 2022 

5:00 PM ET

Countdown Submission Deadline #3

Liftoff Submission Deadline #2

Liftoff – Must have won Countdown #1 or #2

April 28, 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
Updates32

Challenge Updates

Tomorrow: Webinar on Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovskite Startup

June 23, 2022, 8:58 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Don’t forget—tomorrow, Friday, June 24, at 1 p.m. ET, join a webinar on Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovskite Startup, featuring industry expert guest speakers. 

In this webinar, industry experts who have experience commercializing thin-film solar technologies will share their tech-to-market strategies, especially around developing and validating commercialization plans for early-stage solar startups. Hosted by ADL Ventures, this webinar will provide participants the chance to learn and ask questions about developing and validating a commercialization plan. 

Industry guest speakers and panelists include: 

  • Chris McDonald, Independent Consultant: Chris has 35 years in high-tech engineering & manufacturing, mainly Semiconductors and Solar, including Intel, Samsung, Applied Materials and a Solar startup company. His expertise are all areas of high-tech factory operations including factory startup, technology transfer and ramp both domestic and international. Expert in strategy. Things that he can support teams on include options and strategy development for future commercialization of R&D work and all aspects of planning for future factory operations, including business plan, facility and technology startup and output growth.
  • Frank Yang, ADL Ventures: Frank Yang is a Partner at ADL Ventures and the Founder / CEO of Liatris, an advanced insulation materials startup. Frank previously spent 10+ years in the solar industry as a co-founder of Stion, a US solar panel manufacturer and systems integrator. He ran all commercial operations for the company, raising >$500M in funding and selling out a 150 MW annual capacity production line. Frank received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Amherst College.
  • Lee Feliciano, New Use Energy: Lee has worked in the solar PV industry since 2004, starting with residential PV sales and installation Moved to C&I project development in 2007 (developed first successful project financed thru a PPA in AZ in 2008) He has worked for 2 major PV manufacturers: Kyocera Solar (NYSE:KYO) and Renesola (NYSE: SOL), and has consulted for European thin film (CIGS) manufacturer on potential US market entry. He is on retainer as strategy adviser to national EPC which has built one of the largest WalMart portfolios in the US. He also has worked as head of M&A for Solar IPP based in NYC Since 2019 have co-founded a startup in the mobile/ rapid deploy solar generator (PV+storage) space.

Register for the webinar on June 24th at 1 p.m. ET. We hope to see you there! 


Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovksite Startup Webinar

June 20, 2022, 8:59 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

This Friday, June 24, at 1 p.m. ET, join a webinar on Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovskite Startup, featuring industry expert guest speakers. 

Perovskite solar cells have demonstrated significant technical advancement in recent years, but there are still a great number of challenges remaining for scaling up and commercializing this technology. In this webinar, industry experts who have experience commercializing thin-film solar technologies will share their tech-to-market strategies, especially around developing and validating commercialization plans for early-stage solar startups. 

Industry guest speakers and panelists include: 

  • Chris McDonald, Independent Consultant 
  • Frank Yang, Partner at ADL Ventures
  • Lee Feliciano, COO at New Use Energy

Register for the webinar on June 24 at 1 p.m. ET. We hope to see you there! 


Webinar on Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for Your Perovskite Startup

June 10, 2022, 9 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Have questions around bringing your perovskite technology to market? You’re invited to join a webinar on Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovskite Startup on Friday, June 24, at 1 p.m. ET, hosted by ADL Ventures.

Perovskite solar cells have demonstrated significant technical advancement in recent years, but there are still a great number of challenges remaining for scaling up and commercializing this technology. This is part of what the Perovskite Startup Prize and its competitors aim to solve.

In this webinar, industry experts who have experience commercializing thin-film solar technologies will share their tech-to-market strategies, especially around developing and validating commercialization plans for early-stage solar startups. You’ll be able to directly apply these tips and tactics to your Perovskite Startup Prize submission as you prepare for the July 28 deadline. Stay tuned for more details on the guest speaker. 

Register now for the webinar on Friday, June 24, at 1 p.m. ET. We hope to see you there!


Perovskite Startup Prize Webinar on Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovksite Startup

May 27, 2022, 11 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

On June 24th, at 1 p.m. ET, join a webinar on Tech-to-Market: Developing and Validating a Commercialization Plan for your Perovskite Startup, featuring industry expert guest speakers

Perovskite solar cells have demonstrated significant technical advancement in recent years, but there are still a great number of challenges remaining for scaling up and commercializing this technology. In this webinar, industry experts who have experience commercializing thin-film solar technologies will share their tech-to-market strategies, especially around developing and validating commercialization plans for early-stage solar startups. Stay tuned for more details on the guest speaker. 

Register for the webinar on June 24th at 1 p.m. ET. We hope to see you there! 


Perovskite Startup Prize Opens Fifth Application Period for the Countdown Contest

May 16, 2022, 9:30 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

The American-Made Perovskite Startup Prize has opened the fifth Countdown Contest application period. There are still 5-8 prizes available in the Countdown Contest, which remains open to anyone until 6-9 finalists have been selected or all funds have been distributed. 

Both new and previous applicants are encouraged to apply to the Countdown Contest by the submission deadline, which is tentatively July 28, 2022.

As a reminder, the Perovskite Startup Prize consists of two consecutive contests—Countdown and Liftoff—that accelerate efforts to develop new, innovative perovskite solar companies with the potential to manufacture commercially viable products in the United States. Finalists of the Countdown Contest receive a $200,000 cash prize and are eligible to compete in the Liftoff Contest. Winners of the Liftoff Contest receive a $500,000 cash prize, plus $100,000 in technical support vouchers. 

The Liftoff Contest is now open to winners of the Countdown Contest. So far, one finalist team is competing in the Liftoff Contest until other teams win Countdown and move on to Liftoff. The race is on!

Previous applicants should receive 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. 

The prize team is eager for you to join the race and prove that you have what it takes to win the Perovskite Startup Prize! Good luck!


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