The Department of Energy has issued several challenges available for small and mid-sized businesses to participate in to win cash prizes of up to $100,000 per round to solve thorny Energy-related problems. A complete list of the challenges can be found here. They all take the form of a competition. The competitions vary, but all are based upon distributing federal dollars to various entities to advance the Biden administration’s goals of building new infrastructure across the nation. This includes money dedicated to the Justice40 initiative, which targets 40% of the total budget towards underserved and/or disadvantaged communities, including rural communities.
Who can participate? Eligibility excludes federal government entities, meaning that eligible entities includes private entities (for-profits and nonprofits); nonfederal government entities such as states, counties, tribes, and municipalities; academic institutions; and individuals. However, we at the CTC believe the awards are targeted at small businesses or individuals, as the $100,000 prize money may make a significant difference in their budgets.
A sample competition that is currently open (closing February 2, 2024) is the Community Energy Innovation Prize, which “aims to fund organizations for ongoing and/or proposed activities related to climate and clean energy that support, build trust, and strengthen relationships and partnerships with disadvantaged communities. Specifically, this prize seeks to enable and enhance business and technology incubation, acceleration, and other community-based and university-based capacity building, innovation, and entrepreneurship in climate and clean energy technologies.” See the complete rules for this competition for additional information.
Wisconsin CTC encourages its clients to participate in any DoE challenge that they feel they can win. We are also standing by to provide a second set of eyes on any challenge entry. To learn more, email us at .