About Cleantech University Prize

At American universities across the nation, our best and brightest young minds are discovering innovative new solutions to our energy challenges. However, turning a game-changing technology into a commercial product requires a lot more than time in a lab. Aspiring student entrepreneurs often lack the business development skills, market exposure, and investor feedback they need to launch viable new businesses.

Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) business plan competitions provide aspiring student entrepreneurs with the mentorship, business development skills and training, and investor feedback they need to turn their clean energy ideas into businesses offering real-world solutions.

Launched in 2015, Cleantech UP builds upon its precursor, the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition. Since the competition started, participants have formed more than 200 ventures, created more than 115 jobs, and raised more than $120 million in follow-on funding.

Cleantech UP activities occur throughout the year and include eight regional competitions and one national competition. The following actions take place for each cycle:

  • Fall semester through early Spring: Teams apply to regional competitions
  • Winter through Spring semester: Training leading up to each regional competition final, where teams compete for $50,000 in prizes
  • June: National Competition held. Top three teams from each regional competition receive additional training and compete for $100,000 in prizes.