Eligibility

TEAMS

1. A team must be comprised of at least two individuals.

2. At least 50% of formal team members identified in the competition submission documentation must be enrolled at least as half-time students.

3. Formal team members may be citizens of foreign countries. However, teams with no US citizens may not be eligible for all prizes.

4. U.S. citizens attending universities abroad may participate in the competition, provided that the makeup of the formal team members meets all other criteria.

5. Only student members can present the business plan, but all team members (student and non-student) are allowed to answer questions from the judging panels.

COMPANY

1. Only new ventures are eligible to compete in the Clean Energy Prize. Projects within existing businesses are not eligible for entry.

2. Teams must be incorporated or otherwise organized as a legal business entity, either in the U.S. or abroad, to be eligible to receive the Category Winner and Grand Prize awards. All prize money (including travel reimbursement) can only be given to incorporated teams. Teams are advised that, in general, the earlier they incorporate or otherwise form their legal entities (e.g., LLCs, partnerships, 501(c)3), the greater the tax benefits. Winning teams may experience delays in receiving award payments if they are not  not incorporated at the time of award.

Prize-winning teams organized as legal business entities outside of the US may be subject to fees when they receive their prizes.

CATEGORY SELECTION

1. It is recognized that eligible entries may fall under more than one category (Generating Energy, Delivering Energy, Improving Energy Usage, and Energy for Developing Economies). Entering teams must therefore choose in which category they wish to compete. Teams may consult with the MIT CEP Managing Directors about their category choice before the entry deadline.

A team may also mark multiple categories in their application, in which case the MIT CEP Managing Directors will assign them to the single category they believe most appropriate. 

2. Eligible teams may submit more than one entry in the same or different categories, but they may not submit the same entry to more than one category.

3. Identical entries may not compete in the MIT CEP more than once. Previous entrants are eligible to re-enter the competition if the business plan has noticeably improved or changed. The MIT CEP Managing Directors have sole discretion to determine whether a business plan is sufficiently improved or changed from a prior entry to be eligible for submission to the competition.

4. The MIT CEP Managing Directors reserve the right to re-assign an entry to a different category.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY REQUIREMENTS

1.  The top ranked MIT CEP team that falls within the DOE EERE mission space must represent the Northeast region at the U.S. Department of Energy National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition Finals, to be held in Washington, D.C. in 2018.

2. Because the MIT CEP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to be eligible to win the DOE EERE Clean Energy Prize and go on to represent the MIT CEP at the DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington D.C., the entry must be consistent with the mission and technology portfolio of the EERE.

  • “The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy works to strengthen the United States’ energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality in public-private partnerships. It supports this goal through (1) enhancing energy efficiency and productivity; and (2) bringing clean, reliable and affordable energy technologies to the marketplace.

3. All entries that fall outside the scope of the EERE mission space will not be eligible for the DOE EERE Clean Energy Prize or be able to represent the MIT CEP at the DOE’s National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Washington, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OPPORTUNITY:

The U.S. Department of Defense is hosting a national competition in 2018. If you are a semifinalist whose idea has a defense application, you may have the opportunity to represent the Clean Energy Prize in Department of Defense competition. You will need to have a prototype by the time of the Department of Defense prize.

FUNDING

1. Teams that have secured capital in excess of $100,000 prior to the entry deadline are not eligible to enter.

2. Teams that have secured capital less than or equal to $100,000 prior to the entry deadline must submit an additional document upon entry disclosing the amounts and sources of capital. (Download Form Here)

3. Teams that have generated revenue from sales or contracts prior to the entry deadline must submit an additional document upon entry disclosing the amounts and sources of revenue. (Download Form Here)

EVENT ATTENDANCE

1. To be considered eligible for the competition, teams must be available to attend the MIT CEP Finals judging event and the Grand Prize judging event and clean energy showcase in Cambridge, MA, on April 12 - 13, 2018.

MISCELLANEOUS

1. The MIT CEP Managing Directors reserve the right to make a final determination of a team’s eligibility.

FULL ELIGIBILITY RULES

Please click here for the full Eligibility Rules.

Ready to apply?

Find additional details on submissions and a link to the application on our Submissions page