Now in its third year, the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition is helping energy entrepreneurs get the funding and experience they need to expand operations and advance their technology.

The competition is designed to inspire teams of university students from across the country to create new businesses to commercialize promising energy technologies developed at U.S. universities and the Energy Department's National Laboratories. The competition has helped build regional networks of student-focused business creation contests across the country, and was launched in 2011 as part of President Obama's Startup America Initiative. 

After pitching their business plans to panels of judges at the regional semifinals and finals, the six regional winners featured below have advanced to the national competition for a chance to compete in the popular vote and a grand prize determined by an expert panel of judges.

Vote for your favorite competitor to increase their chances of winning the People's Choice Award.