The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship are all important drivers of scientific and technological development. The DOE supports entrepreneurs, from college students to early career and seasoned professionals to established companies, by offering funding for research, innovation and technology transfer, technical support, prize competitions, and training opportunities at a National Laboratories and User Facilities. 

Open Entrepreneurship Challenges

Through these prize challenges, innovators have the chance to win cash prizes and vouchers for ideas that advance U.S. leadership in the energy technology innovation. 


American-Made Solar Prize

The American-Made Solar Prize is a $4 million prize program designed to spur innovations in U.S. solar hardware and software technologies and address challenges to rapid, equitable solar energy deployment.

Eligibility: Anyone with a potentially marketable solar technology solution

Submission Deadline: September 27, 2023


Solar District Cup

The Solar District Cup is a collegiate competition that challenges multidisciplinary student teams to design and model distributed energy systems for a mixed-use campus or district—groups of buildings served by a common electrical distribution feeder. 

Eligibility: Student Teams

Registration Deadline: September 28, 2023


Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize

This Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help the United States develop a cost-effective recycling industry for two important of materials used in wind turbines: fiber-reinforced composites and rare earth elements. 

Eligibility: Individuals, Private Organizations, Non-federal Government Entities, Academic Institutions

Submission Deadline: September 29, 2023


Geothermal Collegiate Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Geothermal Collegiate Competition (GCC) invites teams from collegiate institutions to develop real-world geothermal solutions while competing for cash prizes and gaining resume experience in the renewable energy industry.

Eligibility: Student Teams

Registration Deadline for Mentor Assignments: September 13, 2023

Registration Closes: October 4, 2023


Community Energy Innovation Prize

In the Community Energy Innovation Prize Collegiate Track, a total prize pool of $450,000 is available for student-led teams to work alongside a community partner on a project related to the clean energy transition.

Eligibility: Student-Led Teams

Submission Deadline: November 3, 2023


Chain Reactions Innovations- LEEP

Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), part of DOE's Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) offered by the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO), is a two-year fellowship program at Argonne National Laboratory for innovators focused on clean energy and science technologies.

Eligibility: Individuals and Teams

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2023



See upcoming submission and registration deadlines for entrepreneurship competitions.



Resources for Entrepreneurs