EPIC Prize Program: Design It! Move It! Prove It!


The Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Prize recognizes the nation's most innovative incubators. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), the EPIC Prize awards cash prizes to regional incubator teams that submit the most creative and impactful plans, then implement those plans to develop strong clusters, connections, and support for energy startups and entrepreneurs. 

Technology startups often require more than just capital to launch, grow, and scale innovations. Incubators provide entrepreneurs mentorship, technology validation, business development, connections to manufacturers, and more to strengthen America's clean energy future. The prize seeks to address a capital gap in supporting these critical organizations by providing funds to be applied where incubators need them most. Providing capital to enable creative, forward-thinking organizations is critical to allow these groups to think more expansively about the role of incubators in the broader regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Prize Structure

Core to the EPIC Prize Round 2 is the incubator program, which consists of three phases: 

  • Design It! 
  • Move It! 
  • Prove It! 
An illustration of the two eligibility tracks - new and emerging and established incubators - moving through the three phases of the competition.

OTT has also partnered with three other program offices to date to provide Bonus Prizes. In addition to the $4 million in Core Incubator Prize funding, $50,000 Bonus Prizes will be available for incubators supporting water power and/or the blue economy, buildings technologies, and solar technologies.

The Move It! and Prove It! phases will include a pitch competition in which incubators can nominate energy startups for a chance to win up to $50,000.

Important Dates

Design It! 

  • Submission opens: August 2, 2022
  • Submission deadline: October 25, 2022

Move It! 

  • Submission opens: November 2022 (anticipated)
  • Submission deadline: March 2023 (anticipated)

Prove It! 

  • Submission opens: March 2023 (anticipated)
  • Submission deadline: August 2023 (anticipated)
A timeline of the three phases in the Core Incubator Prize Program.

Who is Eligible to Compete?

The competition is open to private organizations (for-profits and nonprofits), nonfederal government entities (such as states, counties, tribes, and municipalities), academic institutions, and individuals that meet all eligibility requirements. For more information, review the official prize rules via the American Made EPIC website.

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